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Journal of Vestibular Research 13 (2003) 245253 245 Gravity or translation: Central processing of
 

Summary: Journal of Vestibular Research 13 (2003) 245253 245
IOS Press
Gravity or translation: Central processing of
vestibular signals to detect motion or tilt
Dora E. Angelakia, and J. David Dickmanb
a
Department of Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
b
Department of Otolaryngology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
Received 28 January 2003
Accepted 26 November 2003
Abstract. The processing and detection of tilts relative to gravity from actual motion (translational accelerations) is one of the
most fundamental issues for understanding vestibular sensorimotor control in altered gravity environments. In order to better
understand the nature of multisensory signals in detecting motion and tilt, we summarize here our recent studies regarding
the central processing of vestibular signals during multi-axis rotational and translational stimuli. Approximately one fourth
of the cells in the vestibular nuclei exclusively encoded rotational movements (Canal-Only neurons) and were unresponsive to
translation. The Canal-Only central neurons encoded head rotation in canal afferent coordinates, exhibited no orthogonal canal
convergence and were characterized by significantly higher sensitivities to rotation as compared to canal afferents. Another
fourth of the neurons modulated their firing rates during translation (Otolith-Only cells). During rotations, these neurons typically
only responded when the axis of rotation was earth-horizontal and the head was changing orientation relative to gravity. The

  

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

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine