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.
- High-functioning autism
- Postrotatory vestibular nystagmus
- Vestibulo-ocular reflex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology