Human vestibulo-ocular reflex adaptation is frequency selective

Carlo N. Rinaudo, Michael C Schubert, William V.C. Figtree, Christopher J. Todd, Americo A. Migliaccio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) is the only system that maintains stable vision during rapid head rotations. The VOR gain (eye/head velocity) can be trained to increase using a vestibular-visual mismatch stimulus. We sought to determine whether low-frequency (sinusoidal) head rotation during training leads to changes in the VOR during high-frequency head rotation testing, where the VOR is more physiologically relevant. We tested eight normal subjects over three sessions. For training protocol 1, subjects performed active sinusoidal head rotations at 1.3 Hz while tracking a laser target, whose velocity incrementally increased relative to head velocity so that the VOR gain required to stabilize the target went from 1.1 to 2 over 15 min. Protocol 2 was the same as protocol 1, except that head rotations were at 0.5 Hz. For protocol 3, head rotation frequency incrementally increased from 0.5 to 2 Hz over 15 min, while the VOR gain required to stabilize the target was kept at 2. We measured the active and passive, sinusoidal (1.3Hz) and head impulse VOR gains before and after each protocol. Sinusoidal and head impulse VOR gains increased in protocols 1 and 3; however, although the sinusoidal VOR gain increase was ~20%, the related head impulse gain increase was only ~10%. Protocol 2 resulted in no-gain adaptation. These data show human VOR adaptation is frequency selective, suggesting that if one seeks to increase the higher-frequency VOR response, i.e., where it is physiologically most relevant, then higher-frequency head movements are required during training, e.g., head impulses.NEW & NOTEWORTHY This study shows that human vestibulo-ocular reflex adaptation is frequency selective at frequencies >0.3 Hz. The VOR in response to mid- (1.3 Hz) and high-frequency (impulse) head rotations were measured before and after mid-frequency sinusoidal VOR adaptation training, revealing that the mid-frequency gain change was higher than high-frequency gain change. Thus, if one seeks to increase the higher-frequency VOR response, where it is physiologically most relevant, then higher-frequency head movements are required during training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)984-993
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Volume122
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • frequency selective
  • sinusoidal VOR training
  • vestibular rehabilitation
  • vestibulo-ocular reflex
  • VOR adaptation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

Cite this

Rinaudo, C. N., Schubert, M. C., Figtree, W. V. C., Todd, C. J., & Migliaccio, A. A. (2019). Human vestibulo-ocular reflex adaptation is frequency selective. Journal of neurophysiology, 122(3), 984-993. https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00162.2019