Spatial properties of central vestibular neurons

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We studied the spatial characteristics of 45 vestibular-only (VO) and 12 vestibular-plus-saccade (VPS) neurons in two cynomolgus monkeys using angular rotation and static tilt. The purpose was to determine the contribution of canal and otolith-related inputs to central vestibular neurons whose activity is associated with the central velocity storage integrator. Lateral canal-related neurons responded maximally during vertical axis rotation when the head was tilted 25 ± 6 and 22 ± 3° forward relative to the axis of rotation in the two animals, and vertical canal-related neurons responded maximally with the head tilted back 63± 5 and 57 ± 7°. The origin of the vertical canal-related input was verified by rotation about a spatial horizontal axis. Thirty-one percent of cells received input in a single canal plane. Sixty-seven percent of canal-related cells received otolith input, 31% of vertical canal neurons had lateral canal input, and 43% of lateral canal neurons had vertical canal input. Twenty percent of neurons had convergent input from the lateral canals, the vertical canals, and the otolith organs. Some VO and VPS cells had spatial-temporal convergent (STC) properties; more of these cells had STC properties at lower frequencies of rotation. Thus VO and VPS neurons associated with velocity storage receive a broad range of convergent inputs from each portion of the vestibular labyrinth. This convergence could provide the basis for gravity-dependent eye velocity orientation induced through velocity storage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-478
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


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