The induction and compensation of asymmetric eye movements following unilateral blockage of a horizontal semicircular canal in the rabbit

N. H. Barmack, V. E. Pettorossi

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7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The influence of unilateral plugs of the left horizontal semicircular canal (LHC plugs) of rabbits on the development and compensation of asymmetric eye movements evoked by horizontal vestibular stimulation was studied. LHC plugs caused an immediate reduction of 50-65% in the gain of the horizontal vestibuloocular reflex (HVOR). This reduction in gain was achieved without altering the symmetry of the HVOR, and was accompanied by a change in the axial alignment of eye movements evoked by vestibular stimulation about the vertical (HVOR) and longitudinal (VVOR) axes. Postoperative asymmetry of eye movements developed 12-48 hr after the plugging operation. The development of asymmetry was reduced if the rabbit was restrained for 24 hr, thereby minimizing vestibular stimulation following the plugging operation. Over a 3-4 week period, the normal symmetry of eye movements was restored and the axial alignments of the HVOR and VVOR returned to the preoperative values. The gain of the HVOR did not recover. The horizontal cervicoocular reflex (HCOR) was examined before the plugging operation and after compensation of asymmetry was complete. The gain and phase of the HCOR were not altered. A relatively simple set of explanations at a cellular level is proposed to account for the induction and compensation of asymmetric eye movements following a unilateral plug of the horizontal semicircular canal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2836-2843
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume8
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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