Human Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex Adaptation: Consolidation Time Between Repeated Training Blocks Improves Retention

M. Muntaseer Mahfuz, Michael C Schubert, William V.C. Figtree, Christopher J. Todd, Americo A. Migliaccio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We sought to determine if separating vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) adaptation training into training blocks with a consolidation (rest) period in between repetitions would result in improved VOR adaptation and retention. Consolidation of motor learning refers to the brain benefitting from a rest period after prior exposure to motor training. The role of consolidation on VOR adaptation is unknown, though clinicians often recommend rest periods as a part of vestibular rehabilitation. The VOR is the main gaze stabilising system during rapid head movements. The VOR is highly plastic and its gain (eye/head velocity) can be increased via training that induces an incrementally increasing retinal image slip error signal to drive VOR adaptation. The unilateral incremental adaptation technique typically consists of one 15-min training block leading to an increase in VOR gain of ~ 10 % towards the training side. We tested nine normal subjects, each over six separate sessions/days. Three training protocols/sessions were 5 min each (1 × 5-min training) and three training protocols/sessions were 55 min each. Each 55-min protocol comprised 5-min training, 20-min rest, 5-min training, 20-min rest, 5-min training (3 × 5-min training). Active and passive VOR gains were measured before and after training. For training with consolidation breaks, VOR gain retention was measured over 1 h. The VOR gain increase after 1 × 5-min training was 3.1 ± 2.1 % (P < 0.01). One might expect that repeating this training three times would result in × 3 total increase of 9.3 %; however, the gain increase after 3 × 5-min training was only 7.1 ± 2.8 % (P < 0.001), suggesting that consolidation did not improve VOR adaptation for our protocols. However, retention was improved by the addition of consolidation breaks, i.e. gains did not decrease over 1 h (P = 0.43). These data suggest that for optimal retention VOR adaptation exercises should be performed over shorter repeated blocks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

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Ocular Adaptation
Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex
Head Movements
Plastics

Keywords

  • optimal VOR adaptation training parameters
  • vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR)
  • VOR adaptation
  • VOR training consolidation
  • VOR training repetition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems

Cite this

Human Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex Adaptation : Consolidation Time Between Repeated Training Blocks Improves Retention. / Mahfuz, M. Muntaseer; Schubert, Michael C; Figtree, William V.C.; Todd, Christopher J.; Migliaccio, Americo A.

In: JARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "We sought to determine if separating vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) adaptation training into training blocks with a consolidation (rest) period in between repetitions would result in improved VOR adaptation and retention. Consolidation of motor learning refers to the brain benefitting from a rest period after prior exposure to motor training. The role of consolidation on VOR adaptation is unknown, though clinicians often recommend rest periods as a part of vestibular rehabilitation. The VOR is the main gaze stabilising system during rapid head movements. The VOR is highly plastic and its gain (eye/head velocity) can be increased via training that induces an incrementally increasing retinal image slip error signal to drive VOR adaptation. The unilateral incremental adaptation technique typically consists of one 15-min training block leading to an increase in VOR gain of ~ 10 {\%} towards the training side. We tested nine normal subjects, each over six separate sessions/days. Three training protocols/sessions were 5 min each (1 × 5-min training) and three training protocols/sessions were 55 min each. Each 55-min protocol comprised 5-min training, 20-min rest, 5-min training, 20-min rest, 5-min training (3 × 5-min training). Active and passive VOR gains were measured before and after training. For training with consolidation breaks, VOR gain retention was measured over 1 h. The VOR gain increase after 1 × 5-min training was 3.1 ± 2.1 {\%} (P < 0.01). One might expect that repeating this training three times would result in × 3 total increase of 9.3 {\%}; however, the gain increase after 3 × 5-min training was only 7.1 ± 2.8 {\%} (P < 0.001), suggesting that consolidation did not improve VOR adaptation for our protocols. However, retention was improved by the addition of consolidation breaks, i.e. gains did not decrease over 1 h (P = 0.43). These data suggest that for optimal retention VOR adaptation exercises should be performed over shorter repeated blocks.",
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