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BASIC AND CLINICAL ASPECTS OF VERTIGO AND DIZZINESS How Vestibular Neurons Solve
 

Summary: BASIC AND CLINICAL ASPECTS OF VERTIGO AND DIZZINESS
How Vestibular Neurons Solve
the Tilt/Translation Ambiguity
Comparison of Brainstem, Cerebellum,
and Thalamus
Dora E. Angelaki and Tatyana A. Yakusheva
Department of Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis,
Missouri 63110, USA
The peripheral vestibular system is faced by a sensory ambiguity, where primary otolith
afferents respond identically to translational (inertial) accelerations and changes in head
orientation relative to gravity. Under certain conditions, this sensory ambiguity can be
resolved using extra-otolith cues, including semicircular canal signals. Here we review
and summarize how neurons in the vestibular nuclei, rostral fastigial nuclei, cerebellar
nodulus/uvula, and thalamus respond during combinations of tilt and translation. We
focus primarily on cerebellar cortex responses, as nodulus/uvula Purkinje cells reliably
encode translation rather than net gravito-inertial acceleration. In contrast, neurons
in the vestibular and rostral fastigial nuclei, as well as the ventral lateral and ventral
posterior nuclei of the thalamus represent a continuum, with some encoding translation
and some net gravito-inertial acceleration. This review also outlines how Purkinje cells
use semicircular canal signals to solve the ambiguity problem and how this solution fails

  

Source: Angelaki, Dora - Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University in St. Louis

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine