Three-dimensional spatial characteristics of caloric nystagmus

Swee T. Aw, Thomas Haslwanter, Michael Fetter, Johannes Dichgans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated the three-dimensional spatial characteristics of caloric nystagmus during excitation and inhibition of the lateral semicircular canal in five normal human subjects. Each subject was repositioned in 45°steps at 1-min intervals such that the right lateral semicircular canal plane was reoriented in pitch, from 135°backwards from the upright position to 135°forwards, while the right ear was continuously stimulated with air at 44°C. In orientations in which caloric stimulus resulted in excitation of the right lateral semicircular canal, the eye velocity axis was orthogonal to the average orientation of the right lateral semicircular canal plane. However, in orientations in which caloric stimulus resulted in inhibition of the right lateral semicircular canal, the eye velocity axis was orthogonal to the average orientation of the left and not the right lateral semicircular canal plane. These findings suggest that velocity and direction of caloric nystagmus depend not only on the absolute magnitude of vestibular activity on the stimulated side but also on the differences in activity between the left and right vestibular nuclei, most probably mediated centrally via brainstem commissural pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-294
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume134
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Air
  • Eye Movements
  • Functional Laterality
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic/etiology
  • Posture/physiology
  • Rotation
  • Semicircular Canals/physiology
  • Time Factors

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