We recorded three-dimensional eye movements during angular acceleration steps from 0 to 250°/s at 20°/s2 about an earth-vertical axis. Experiments were performed on 27 normal subjects and on 19 patients who had recovered well from unilateral vestibular deafferentation on the right or left side. In addition to compensatory horizontal eye movements, significant vertical and torsional eye movement components were elicited. These vertical and torsional eye velocity traces led to a shift of the axis of eye velocity away from the axis of head velocity. Horizontal, vertical, and torsional velocity components showed clear differences between normals and patients with unilateral vestibular deafferentation. In normals, the axis of eye velocity tilted backward and slightly away from the axis of head velocity. Patients showed similar, but more pronounced, shifts during rotations toward the intact ear and shifts in the opposite direction for rotations toward the operated ear. Eye velocity traces were analyzed with special consideration given to the orientation of the axis of eye velocity. We speculate that the vertical and torsional velocity components may be due to the effects of Listing's plane, as well as the contributions of the otolith signals.
- Semicircular canal
- Vestibular deafferentation