Vestibulo-ocular Reflexes and Visuo-vestibular Interaction
Human postural function uses afferent inflow from the inner ears, vision, pressure receptors in the soles of the feet, and proprioception in the extremities and back, especially the neck. Except for balancing and motor control the vestibular system plays a great role in ocular movements. The vestibular ocular reflex controlling eye movements is extremely quick and exact. The inner ear transduces the head movements and via the vestibulooculomotor reflex (VOR) the eyes are moved in such a way that the field of vision keeps steady on the retina. VOR is under the command of the central nervous system, especially the cerebellum and the prepontine reticular formation in the brain stem. The inflow from the neck plays an important role [11, 17, 22]. VOR elicits compensatory eye movements, i.e. the eye movements compensate for the head movements. The slow eye movement is regularly interrupted by a quick rebound phase and thus nystagmus appears with a slow and a fast phase. The slow phase has a speed of up to 60°/s, and the quick phase, the saccade, around 400°/s.
KeywordsSmooth Pursuit Vestibular Nucleus Whiplash Injury Quick Phase Visual Suppression
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