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Exp Brain Res. 2012 Nov;223(3):389-96. doi: 10.1007/s00221-012-3267-5. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Different effects of head tilt on ocular vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials in response to bone-conducted vibration and air-conducted sound.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8655, Japan.


The ocular vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials (oVEMPs) in response to air-conducted sound (ACS) and bone-conducted vibration (BCV) have recently been used to assess otolith-ocular pathways in humans. Although the oVEMPs to BCV are considered to reflect the function of the utricle and superior vestibular pathway, the pathway of the oVEMPs to ACS remains controversial. In this study, we compared the effect of different head positions in the roll plane on oVEMPs in response to BCV and ACS in 20 normal subjects. Head tilt in the roll plane significantly increased the asymmetry ratio of oVEMPs to BCV (p < 0.01) but did not affect the asymmetry ratio of oVEMPs to ACS. Head tilt did not affect the latencies of oVEMPs to either BCV or ACS. Rotation of the body in the yaw plane while keeping the head straight ahead did not affect the asymmetry of oVEMPs to BCV (p > 0.6). These results suggest that oVEMPs to BCV reflect the activity of a different population of vestibular afferents to those which are active during oVEMPs to ACS.

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