Evidence of normal cerebellar control of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) in children with high-functioning autism

Melissa C. Goldberg, R. Landa, A. Lasker, L. Cooper, D. S. Zee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effect of "tilt-suppression" on post-rotatory vestibular nystagmus was investigated to assess the function of the caudal cerebellar vermis (lobules IX and X, or nodulus and uvula) in 13 school-age children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and 10 normal controls. Tilt-suppression of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) refers to the decreasing of the duration of post-rotatory vestibular nystagmus that occurs when the head is moved out of the plane in which it was located during the previous sustained constant-velocity rotation. The participant is rotated in a vestibular chair with the head upright and then the head is tilted forward just after the chair stops rotating. Such tilt-suppression is impaired with lesions of the cerebellar nodulus and portions of the uvula. Results show that children with HFA have normal post-rotatory nystasmus with the head upright and normal attenuation of post-rotatory nystagmus induced by head tilt. These behavioral findings suggest that lobules IX and X of the cerebellum are spared in high-functioning autism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-524
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume30
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

Keywords

  • High-functioning autism
  • Postrotatory vestibular nystagmus
  • Vestibulo-ocular reflex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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