Data_Sheet_1_Somatosensory Influence on Platform-Induced Translational Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex in Vertical Direction in Humans.pdf
The vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) consists of two components, the rotational VOR (rVOR) elicited by semicircular canal signals and the translational VOR (tVOR) elicited by otolith signals. Given the relevant role of the vertical tVOR in human walking, this study aimed at measuring the time delay of eye movements in relation to whole-body vertical translations in natural standing position. Twenty (13 females and 7 males) healthy, young subjects (mean 25 years) stood upright on a motor-driven platform and were exposed to sinusoidal movements while fixating a LED, positioned at a distance of 50 cm in front of the eyes. The platform motion induced a vertical translation of 2.6 cm that provoked counteracting eye movements similar to self-paced walking. The time differences between platform and eye movements indicated that the subject's timing of the extraocular motor reaction depended on stimulus frequency and number of repetitions. At low stimulus frequencies (<0.8 Hz) and small numbers of repetitions (<3), eye movements were phase advanced or in synchrony with platform movements. At higher stimulus frequencies or continuous stimulation, eye movements were phase lagged by ~40 ms. Interestingly, the timing of eye movements depended on the initial platform inclination. Starting with both feet in dorsiflexion, eye movements preceded platform movements by 137 ms, whereas starting with both feet in plantar flexion eye movement precession was only 19 ms. This suggests a remarkable influence of foot proprioceptive signals on the timing of eye movements, indicating that the dynamics of the vertical tVOR is controlled by somatosensory signals.