Parieto-Temporal Cortex Contributes to Velocity Storage Integration of Vestibular Information
We previously demonstrated that the parieto-temporal cortex modulates vestibulo-ocular function in monkey (Ventre and Faugier-Grimaud 1986). To date, this question has not been addressed in man. In this study, the vestibulo-ocular réflexe (VOR) was investigated in a group of 6 patients with unilateral lesion of the parieto-temporal cortex (4 patients with right-sided lesion, 2 with and 2 without hemineglect, and 2 patients with left-sided lesion) and compared to a group of 8 control age-matched subjects. VOR was induced by sinusoidal rotation at different frequencies (0.02, 0.05 and 0.1 Hz) and by constant velocity rotation (50 deg/sec) around the vertical axis. VOR responses were analyzed in terms of left vs right hemispheric lesion, with vs without hemineglect. VOR was quantified by analyzing slow phases of the nystagmus induced in the different conditions of rotation. Our preliminary data demonstrate a VOR asymmetry in the lesion group, quantified by measuring the directional preponderance, DP (Positive DP = Directional preponderance away from the lesion; Negative DP = Directional preponderance towards the lesion).
DP was significantly decreased for the VOR time constant and the nystagmus frequency, in the group of patients with a right lesion (ANOVA main group effect: p < 0.05). While no VOR velocity bias (mean shift= 0.63 deg/sec; sd=l) was found in the normal group, a velocity bias was revealed with sine rotation in the patient groups. This VOR bias was significant towards the lesioned side, especially in the right group and more pronounced in the presence of neglect (ANOVA, main group effect: p < 0.05). VOR gain in the patient groups was not different from the control group. These results showed a VOR directional preponderance toward the lesion, mainly in the patient group with right cortical lesion associated to hemineglect.
We suggest that in man, the effects of a parieto-temporal cortex lesion on VOR are closely related to the hemispheric lateralization and the presence of a neglect syndrome. These data are discussed in terms of a cortical influence on the brainstem network involved in velocity storage integration and spatial reconstruction.
KeywordsCortical Lesion Hemispheric Lesion Velocity Storage Main Group Effect Slow Phase Velocity
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