The horizontal angular vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) evoked by sinusoidal rotations from 0.5 to 15 Hz and acceleration steps up to 3,000°/s2 to 150°/s was studied in six squirrel monkeys following adaptation with X2.2 magnifying and X0.45 minimizing spectacles. For sinusoidal rotations with peak velocities of 20°/s, there were significant changes in gain at all frequencies; however, the greatest gain changes occurred at the lower frequencies. The frequency- and velocity-dependent gain enhancement seen in normal monkeys was accentuated following adaptation to magnifying spectacles and diminished with adaptation to minimizing spectacles. A differential increase in gain for the steps of acceleration was noted after adaptation to the magnifying spectacles. The gain during the acceleration portion, GA, of a step of acceleration (3,000°/s2 to 150°/s) increased from preadaptation values of 1.05±0.08 to 1.96±0.16, while the gain during the velocity plateau, GV, only increased from 0.93±0.04 to 1.36±0.08. Polynomial fits to the trajectory of the response during the acceleration step revealed a greater increase in the cubic than the linear term following adaptation with the magnifying lenses. Following adaptation to the minimizing lenses, the value of GA decreased to 0.61±0.08, and the value of GV decreased to 0.59±0.09 for the 3,000°/s2 steps of acceleration. Polynomial fits to the trajectory of the response during the acceleration step revealed that there was a significantly greater reduction in the cubic term than in the linear term following adaptation with the minimizing lenses. These findings indicate that there is greater modification of the nonlinear as compared with the linear component of the VOR with spectacle-induced adaptation. In addition, the latency to the onset of the adapted response varied with the dynamics of the stimulus. The findings were modeled with a bilateral model of the VOR containing linear and non-linear pathways that describe the normal behavior and adaptive processes. Adaptation for the linear pathway is described by a transfer function that shows the dependence of adaptation on the frequency of the head movement. The adaptive process for the nonlinear pathway is a gain enhancement element that provides for the accentuated gain with rising head velocity and the increased cubic component of the responses to steps of acceleration. While this model is substantially different from earlier models of VOR adaptation, it accounts for the data in the present experiments and also predicts the findings observed in the earlier studies.
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