Interactions of cervico‐ocular and vestibulo‐ocular fast‐phase signals in the control of eye position in rabbits.

N. H. Barmack, P. Errico, A. Ferraresi, V. E. Pettorossi

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14 Scopus citations


1. Eye movements in unanaesthetized rabbits were studied during horizontal neck‐proprioceptive stimulation (movement of the body with respect to the fixed head), when this stimulation was given alone and when it was given simultaneously with vestibular stimulation (rotation of the head‐body). The effect of neck‐proprioceptive stimulation on modifying the anticompensatory fast‐phase eye movements (AFPs) evoked by vestibular stimulation was studied with a ‘conditioning‐test’ protocol; the ‘conditioning’ stimulus was a neck‐proprioceptive signal evoked by a step‐like change in body position with respect to the head and the ‘test’ stimulus was a vestibular signal evoked by a step rotation of the head‐body. 2. The influence of eye position and direction of slow eye movements on the occurrence of compensatory fast‐phase eye movements (CFPs) evoked by neck‐proprioceptive stimulation was also examined. 3. The anticompensatory fast phase (AFP) evoked by vestibular stimulation was attenuated by a preceding neck‐proprioceptive stimulus which when delivered alone evoked compensatory slow‐phase eye movements (CSP) in the same direction as the CSP evoked by vestibular stimulation. Conversely, the vestibularly evoked AFP was potentiated by a neck‐proprioceptive stimulus which evoked CSPs opposite to that of vestibularly evoked CSPs. 4. Eccentric initial eye positions increased the probability of occurrence of midline‐directed compensatory fast‐phase eye movements (CFPs) evoked by appropriate neck‐proprioceptive stimulation. 5. The gain of the horizontal cervico‐ocular reflex (GHCOR) was measured from the combined changes in eye position resulting from AFPs and CSPs. GHCOR was potentiated during simultaneous vestibular stimulation. This enhancement of GHCOR occurred at neck‐proprioceptive stimulus frequencies which, in the absence of conjoint vestibular stimulation, do not evoke CSPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-225
Number of pages13
JournalThe Journal of Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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