We have developed and tested a prosthetic semicircular canal that senses angular head velocity and uses this information to modulate the rate of current pulses applied to the vestibular nerve via a stimulating electrode. In one squirrel monkey, the lateral canals were plugged bilaterally and the prosthesis was secured to the animal's head with the angular velocity sensor parallel to the axis of the lateral canals. In the first experiment, the stimulating electrode was placed near the ampullary nerve of one lateral canal. Over a period of two weeks, the gain of the horizontal VOR during yaw axis rotation gradually increased, although the response magnitude remained relatively small. In the second experiment, the stimulating electrode was placed near the ampullary nerve of the posterior canal, but the orientation of the velocity sensor remained parallel to the axis of the lateral canals. Over a one-week period, the axis of the VOR response gradually shifted towards alignment with the (yaw) axis of head rotation. Chronic patterned stimulation of the eighth nerve can therefore provide adequate information to the brain to generate a measurable VOR response, and this can occur even if the prosthetic yaw rotation cue is provided via a branch of the VIIIth nerve that doesn't normally carry yaw rotational cues. The results provided by this pilot study suggest that it may be feasible to study central adaptation by chronically modifying the afferent vestibular cue with a prosthetic semicircular canal.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Vestibular Research: Equilibrium and Orientation|
|State||Published - 2002|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Clinical Neurology