Context-specific adaptation of the gain of the oculomotor response to lateral translation using roll and pitch head tilts as contexts

Mark Shelhamer, Grace C. Peng, Stefano Ramat, Vivek Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Previous studies established that vestibular and oculomotor behaviors can have two adapted states (e.g., gain) simultaneously, and that a context cue (e.g., vertical eye position) can switch between the two states. The present study examined this phenomenon of context-specific adaptation for the oculomotor response to interaural translation (which we term "linear vestibulo-ocular reflex" or LVOR even though it may have extravestibular components). Subjects sat upright on a linear sled and were translated at 0.7 Hz and 0.3 g peak acceleration while a visual-vestibular mismatch paradigm was used to adaptively increase (x2) or decrease (x0) the gain of the LVOR. In each experimental session, gain increase was asked for in one context, and gain decrease in another context. Testing in darkness with steps and sines before and after adaptation, in each context, assessed the extent to which the context itself could recall the gain state that was imposed in that context during adaptation. Two different contexts were used: head pitch (26° forward and backward) and head roll (26° or 45°, right and left). Head roll tilt worked well as a context cue: with the head rolled to the right the LVOR could be made to have a higher gain than with the head rolled to the left. Head pitch tilt was less effective as a context cue. This suggests that the more closely related a context cue is to the response being adapted, the more effective it is.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-393
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


  • Adaptation
  • Context
  • Human
  • Linear vestibulo-ocular reflex
  • Motor learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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