Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Modification of spontaneous activity in primary vestibular neurons during development in the cat

  • 32 Accesses

  • 6 Citations


The spontaneous activity of primary vestibular neurons was studied during postnatal development in the cat. Activities were categorized as regular, intermediate and irregular on the basis of the coefficient of variation. At birth, few regularly firing units were found while the percentage of intermediate and irregular units was high. During development, the percentage of units meeting the criterion of regularity increased steadily with age. At the same time the number of intermediate and irregular units decreased. The average resting rate of all categories of unit showed an increase in firing from birth up to the adult stage, i. e., around the second postnatal month. The mean firing rate of regularly firing units was always higher than the two other categories throughout all the stages of development. These results were compared with similar work performed in the rat.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Adrian ED (1943) Discharges from vestibular receptors in the cat. J Physiol (Lond) 101: 389–407

  2. Curthoys IS (1979) The development of function of horizontal semicircular canal primary neurons in the rat. Brain Res 167: 41–52

  3. Estes MS, Blank RHI, Markham CH (1975) Physiologic characteristics of vestibular first-order canal neurons in the cat. I. Response plane determination and resting discharge characteristics. J Neurophysiol 38: 1232–1250

  4. Gacek RR, Rasmussen GL (1961) Fiber analysis of the statoacoustic nerve of Guinea pig, cat and monkey. Anat Rec 139: 455–463

  5. Goldberg JM, Fernández C (1971) Physiology of peripheral neurons innervating semicircular canals of the squirrel monkey. I. Resting discharge and response to constant angular accelerations. J Neurophysiol 34: 635–660

  6. Goldberg JM, Fernandez C (1975) Responses of peripheral vestibular neurons to angular and linear accelerations in the squirrel monkey. Acta Otolaryngol (Stockh) 80: 101–110

  7. Lannou J, Precht W, Cazin L (1979) The postnatal development of functional properties of central vestibular neurons in the rat. Brain Res 175: 219–232

  8. Lannou J, Precht W, Cazin L (1980) Development of optokinetic responses, in vestibular nuclear neurons in the young rat. Brain Res 202: 217–222

  9. Löwenstein O, Sand A (1940) The mechanism of the semicircular canal. A study of the response of single-fibre preparations to angular accelerations and to rotation at constant speed. Proc R Soc Lond [Biol] 129: 256–275

  10. Romand R, Sans A, Romand M-R, Marty R (1976) The structural maturation of the stato-acoustic nerve in the cat. J Comp Neurol 170: 1–16

  11. Romand R, Dauzat M (1981) Spontaneous activity and signal processing in the cochlear nerve of kittens. J Acoust Soc Am 69: 52

  12. Rupert A, Moushegian G, Galambos R (1962) Microelectrode studies of primary vestibular neurons in cat. Exp Neurol 5: 100–109

  13. Walsh BT, Miller JB, Gacek RR, Kiang NYS (1972) Spontaneous activity in the eighth cranial nerve of the cat. Int J Neurosci 3: 221–236

  14. Yagi T, Simpson NE, Markham CH (1977) The relationship of conduction verlocity to other physiological properties of the cat's horizontal canal neurons. Exp Brain Res 30: 587–600

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to R. Romand.

Additional information

Supported by grants from the C.N.R.S. (E.R.A.-187) and D.G.R.S.T. (no. 79-7-1073)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Romand, R., Dauzat, M. Modification of spontaneous activity in primary vestibular neurons during development in the cat. Exp Brain Res 45, 265–268 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00235786

Download citation

Key words

  • Vestibular nerve
  • Spontaneous activities
  • Development
  • Cat