(1/128) Responses of sympathetic outflow to skin during caloric stimulation in humans.

We previously showed that caloric vestibular stimulation elicits increases in sympathetic outflow to muscle (MSNA) in humans. The present study was conducted to determine the effect of this stimulation on sympathetic outflow to skin (SSNA). The SSNA in the tibial and peroneal nerves and nystagmus was recorded in nine subjects when the external meatus was irrigated with 50 ml of cold (10 degrees C) or warm (44 degrees C) water. During nystagmus, the SSNA in tibial and peroneal nerves decreased to 50 +/- 4% (with baseline value set as 100%) and 61 +/- 4%, respectively. The degree of SSNA suppression in both nerves was proportional to the maximum slow-phase velocity of nystagmus. After nystagmus, the SSNA increased to 166 +/- 7 and 168 +/- 6%, respectively, and the degree of motion sickness symptoms was correlated with this SSNA increase. These results suggest that the SSNA response differs from the MSNA response during caloric vestibular stimulation and that the SSNA response elicited in the initial period of caloric vestibular stimulation is different from that observed during the period of motion sickness symptoms.  (+info)

(2/128) Visual attention modifies spectral sensitivity of nystagmic eye movements.

If we look out of the window of a travelling train our eyes move rapidly back and forth (saccadic movement). With no attention to individual objects, gaze velocity is low but nystagmic frequency is high (stare nystagmus). If we are interested in individual objects, the angular velocity of gaze is high and the nystagmic frequency low (look nystagmus) (Ter Braak, J.W.G. (1936). Untersuchungen ueber optokinetischen Nystagmus. Archives Neerlandaises de Physiologie de L'homme et des Animaux, 21, 309-376). We show that the spectral sensitivities of the two types of nystagmus differ and that the short-wavelength-sensitive cones significantly contribute only to look nystagmus.  (+info)

(3/128) Horizontal vestibuloocular reflex evoked by high-acceleration rotations in the squirrel monkey. II. Responses after canal plugging.

The horizontal angular vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) evoked by high-frequency, high-acceleration rotations was studied in four squirrel monkeys after unilateral plugging of the three semicircular canals. During the period (1-4 days) that animals were kept in darkness after plugging, the gain during steps of acceleration (3, 000 degrees /s(2), peak velocity = 150 degrees /s) was 0.61 +/- 0.14 (mean +/- SD) for contralesional rotations and 0.33 +/- 0.03 for ipsilesional rotations. Within 18-24 h after animals were returned to light, the VOR gain for contralesional rotations increased to 0. 88 +/- 0.05, whereas there was only a slight increase in the gain for ipsilesional rotations to 0.37 +/- 0.07. A symmetrical increase in the gain measured at the plateau of head velocity was noted after animals were returned to light. The latency of the VOR was 8.2 +/- 0. 4 ms for ipsilesional and 7.1 +/- 0.3 ms for contralesional rotations. The VOR evoked by sinusoidal rotations of 0.5-15 Hz, +/-20 degrees /s had no significant half-cycle asymmetries. The recovery of gain for these responses after plugging was greater at lower than at higher frequencies. Responses to rotations at higher velocities for frequencies >/=4 Hz showed an increase in contralesional half-cycle gain, whereas ipsilesional half-cycle gain was unchanged. A residual response that appeared to be canal and not otolith mediated was noted after plugging of all six semicircular canals. This response increased with frequency to reach a gain of 0.23 +/- 0.03 at 15 Hz, resembling that predicted based on a reduction of the dominant time constant of the canal to 32 ms after plugging. A model incorporating linear and nonlinear pathways was used to simulate the data. The coefficients of this model were determined from data in animals with intact vestibular function. Selective increases in the gain for the linear and nonlinear pathways predicted the changes in recovery observed after canal plugging. An increase in gain of the linear pathway accounted for the recovery in VOR gain for both responses at the velocity plateau of the steps of acceleration and for the sinusoidal rotations at lower peak velocities. The increase in gain for contralesional responses to steps of acceleration and sinusoidal rotations at higher frequencies and velocities was due to an increase in the gain of the nonlinear pathway. This pathway was driven into inhibitory cutoff at low velocities and therefore made no contribution for rotations toward the ipsilesional side.  (+info)

(4/128) Evidence for brainstem structures participating in oculomotor integration.

The cerebellar flocculus has been implicated in vestibulo-oculomotor control. One major central input to this structure originates from brainstem cells in the paramedian tract (PMT), whose function is unknown. Here it is reported that PMT cells in the pons carry vestibular and eye movement signals and their pharmacological inactivation produces a leaky integrator combined with vestibular imbalance. The results suggest that PMT cells provide the cerebellum with sensory and motor signals that are essential for velocity-to-position integration, a common premotor process that is required in all motor systems.  (+info)

(5/128) Horizontal vestibuloocular reflex evoked by high-acceleration rotations in the squirrel monkey. III. Responses after labyrinthectomy.

The horizontal angular vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) evoked by high-frequency, high-acceleration rotations was studied in four squirrel monkeys after unilateral labyrinthectomy. Spontaneous nystagmus was measured at the beginning and end of each testing session. During the period that animals were kept in darkness (4 days), the nystagmus at each of these times measured approximately 20 degrees /s. Within 18-24 h after return to the light, the nystagmus (measured in darkness) decreased to 2.8 +/- 1.5 degrees /s (mean +/- SD) when recorded at the beginning but was 20.3 +/- 3.9 degrees /s at the end of the testing session. The latency of the VOR measured from responses to steps of acceleration (3,000 degrees /s(2) reaching a velocity of 150 degrees /s) was 8.4 +/- 0.3 ms for responses to ipsilesional rotations and 7.7 +/- 0.4 ms for contralesional rotations. During the period that animals were kept in darkness after the labyrinthectomy, the gain of the VOR measured during the steps of acceleration was 0.67 +/- 0.12 for contralesional rotations and 0.39 +/- 0.04 for ipsilesional rotations. Within 18-24 h after return to light, the VOR gain for contralesional rotations increased to 0.87 +/- 0.08, whereas there was only a slight increase for ipsilesional rotations to 0.41 +/- 0. 06. A symmetrical increase in the gain measured at the plateau of head velocity was noted after the animals were returned to light. The VOR evoked by sinusoidal rotations of 2-15 Hz, +/-20 degrees /s, showed a better recovery of gain at lower (2-4 Hz) than at higher (6-15 Hz) frequencies. At 0.5 Hz, gain decreased symmetrically when the peak amplitude was increased from 20 to 100 degrees /s. At 10 Hz, gain was decreased for ipsilesional half-cycles and increased for contralesional half-cycles when velocity was raised from 20 to 50 degrees /s. A model incorporating linear and nonlinear pathways was used to simulate the data. Selective increases in the gain for the linear pathway accounted for the recovery in VOR gain for responses at the velocity plateau of the steps of acceleration and for the sinusoidal rotations at lower peak velocities. The increase in gain for contralesional responses to steps of acceleration and sinusoidal rotations at higher frequencies and velocities was due to an increase in the contribution of the nonlinear pathway. This pathway was driven into cutoff and therefore did not affect responses for rotations toward the lesioned side.  (+info)

(6/128) Vestibular influence on human auditory space perception.

We investigated the effect of vestibular stimulation on the lateralization of dichotic sound by cold-water irrigation of the external auditory canal in human subjects. Subjects adjusted the interaural level difference of the auditory stimulus to the subjective median plane of the head. In those subjects in whom dizziness and nystagmus indicated sufficient vestibular stimulation, these adjustments were significantly shifted toward the cooled ear compared with the control condition (irrigation with water at body temperature); i.e., vestibular stimulation induced a shift of the sound image toward the nonstimulated side. The mean magnitude of the shift was 7.3 dB immediately after vestibular stimulation and decreased to 2.5 dB after 5 min. As shown by an additional control experiment, this effect cannot be attributed to a unilateral hearing loss induced by cooling of the auditory periphery. The results indicate the involvement of vestibular afferent information in the perception of sound location during movements of the head and/or the whole body. We thus hypothesize that vestibular information is used by central-nervous mechanisms generating a world-centered representation of auditory space.  (+info)

(7/128) Effects of nitric oxide on the vestibular functional recovery after unilateral labyrinthectomy.

The effects of nitric oxide on the vestibular function recovery following unilateral labyrinthectomy were studied. Male Sprague-Dawley rats treated with N-omega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), a nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, were subjected to destruction of the unilateral vestibular apparatus and spontaneous nystagmus was observed. To explore the role of nitric oxide on the potassium current, the whole cell patch clamp technique was applied on isolated medial vestibular nuclear neurons. The frequency of spontaneous nystagmus that appeared in L-NAME-treated rats was higher and maintained longer than in control animals. Potassium currents in the isolated medial vestibular nucleus were inhibited by nitric oxide liberating agents, sodium nitroprusside and S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine. After blockade of calcium dependent potassium currents by high EGTA (11 mM)-containing pipette solution, sodium nitroprusside did not inhibit the outward potassium currents. 8-Bromoguanosine 3,5-cyclic monophosphate, a membrane-permeable cGMP analogue, produced similar effects to inhibit the outward potassium currents as sodium nitroprusside. These results suggest that nitric oxide production after unilateral labyrinthectomy would help to facilitate vestibular compensation by inhibiting calcium-dependent potassium currents through increasing intracellular cyclic GMP, thereby increasing excitability in ipsilateral vestibular nuclear neurons.  (+info)

(8/128) The joint contributions of saccades and ocular drift to repeated ocular fixations.

We measured the joint contributions of different sized saccades and ocular drift to overall performance in an alternating fixation task. Subjects repeatedly shifted fixation between the centres of a pair of bars of width 2 degrees -2 arc min, either mentally selected or electronically cut from a stationary sine grating display. Eye movement patterns exhibited consistent features across all displays, and pairs of widely separated bars were studied most. Variability (S.D.) and relative accuracy (under/overshooting bias) were estimated from the concentration of eye positions over the two target bars. Overall variability, i.e. for eye movements as a whole, reached a minimum of 5 min for bar widths less than 20 min across subjects, displays and tasks. This was consistent, as were several other aspects of the study, with a constant 20-min diameter goal zone hypothesis. For wide bars, overall variability increased nearly as the square root of bar width, and for narrow bars, was independent of bar separation. A typical between-bar crossing saccade was tightly constrained in departure point but widely scattered in landing position, the associated variability increasing with bar separation. The final high overall precision was achieved largely by within-bar saccades of greater than 7.5 min effective amplitude that were present at a rate of 1 (range 0.3-3) per crossing saccade. This is consistent with views that very small saccades (the smaller microsaccades) make little obvious contribution to oculomotor performance.  (+info)