Consequences and Assessment of Human Vestibular Failure

Implications for Postural Control
  • James G. Colebatch
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 508)


Labyrinthine afferents respond to both angular velocity (semicircular canals) and linear acceleration (otoliths), including gravity. Given their response to gravity, the otoliths are likely to have an important role in the postural functions of the vestibular apparatus. Unilateral vestibular ablation has dramatic effects on posture in many animals, but less so in primates. Nevertheless, bilateral vestibular lesions lead to disabling symptoms in man related to disturbed ocular and postural control and impaired perception of slopes and accelerations. While seimicircular canal function can be assessed through its effects on vestibular ocular reflexes, assessment of otolith function in man has traditionally been much more difficult. Recent definition of a short latency vestibulocollic reflex, activated by sound and appearing to arise from the saccule, shows promise as a new method of noninvasive assessment of otolith function.


Semicircular Canal Vestibular Nucleus Linear Acceleration Vestibular Function Experimental Brain Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • James G. Colebatch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurology and Clinical SchoolPrince of Wales HospitalSydneyAustralia

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