The effects of unilateral vestibular deafferentation (UVD) on the linear vestibulo-ocular reflex (LVOR) were studied by measuring three-dimensional eye movements in seven UVD subjects evoked by impulsive eccentric roll rotation while viewing an earth-fixed target at 200, 300, or 600 mm and comparing their responses to 11 normal subjects. The stimulus, a whole-body roll of approximately 1°, with the eye positioned 815 mm eccentric to the rotation axis, produced an inter-aural linear acceleration of approximately 0.5g and a roll acceleration of approximately 360°/s2. The responses generated by the LVOR comprise horizontal eye rotations. Horizontal eye velocity at 100 ms from stimulus onset in UVD subjects was significantly lower than in normal subjects for all viewing distances, with no significant difference between ipsilesional and contralesional responses. LVOR acceleration gain, defined as the slope of actual horizontal eye velocity divided by the slope of ideal horizontal eye velocity during a 30-ms period starting 70 ms from stimulus onset, was bilaterally significantly reduced in UVD subjects at all viewing distances. Acceleration gain from all viewing distances was 1.04 ± 0.28 in normal subjects, and in UVD subjects was 0.49 ± 0.23 for ipsilesional and 0.63 ± 0.27 for contralesional acceleration. LVOR enhancement in the first 100 ms by near viewing was still present in UVD subjects. LVOR latency in UVD subjects (approximately 39 ms) was not significantly different from normal subjects (approximately 36 ms). After UVD, LVOR is bilaterally and largely symmetrically reduced, but latency remains unchanged and modulation by viewing distance is still present.
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