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The Vestibular SystemA Sixth Sense$
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Jay M. Goldberg, Victor J. Wilson, Kathleen E. Cullen, Dora E. Angelaki, Dianne M. Broussard, Jean Buttner-Ennever, Kikuro Fukushima, and Lloyd B. Minor

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195167085

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167085.001.0001

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Vestibulo-Ocular Reflexes

Vestibulo-Ocular Reflexes

9 Vestibulo-Ocular Reflexes
The Vestibular System

Jay M. Goldberg

Victor J. Wilson

Kathleen E. Cullen

Dora E. Angelaki

Dianne M. Broussard

Jean A. Büttner-Ennever

Kikuro Fukushima

Lloyd B. Minor

Oxford University Press

To maintain a clear and stable view of the environment, we use reflexes to rotate our eyes in a direction that is opposite to any head motion that occurs. The reflexes are driven by both vestibular and visual inputs. When the head rotates to the right, the angular vestibulo-ocular reflex causes the eyes to rotate to the left, such that gaze remains stable in space. If the head translates to the right, the translational vestibulo-ocular reflex can rotate the eyes to the left to compensate for the potential motion of the retinal images of near targets. These vestibulo-ocular reflexes operate in synergy with visuo-ocular reflexes, the best understood being optokinetic nystagmus. This chapter summarizes the basic properties of these reflexes, with an emphasis on behavioral observations.

Keywords:   angular vestibulo-ocular reflex, translational vestibulo-ocular reflex, optokinetic nystagmus, reflexes, gaze

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