Document Detail

Vestibular contribution to the planning of reach trajectories.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17562026     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Reaching for an object while simultaneously rotating induces Coriolis and centrifugal inertial forces on the arm that require compensatory actions to maintain accuracy. We investigated whether the nervous system uses vestibular signals of head rotation to predict inertial forces. Human subjects reached in darkness to a remembered target 33 cm distant. Subjects were stationary, but experienced a strong vestibular rotation signal. We achieved this by rotating subjects at 360 degrees /s in yaw for 2 min and then stopping, and subjects reached during the 'post-rotary' period when the deceleration is interpreted by the vestibular system as a rotation in the opposite direction. Arm trajectories were straight in control trials without a rotary stimulus. With vestibular stimulation, trajectory curvature increased an average of 3 cm in the direction of the vestibular stimulation (e.g., to the right for a rightward yaw stimulus). Vestibular-induced curvature returned rapidly to normal, with an average time constant of 6 s. Movements also became longer as the vestibular stimulus diminished, and returned towards normal length with an average time constant of 5.6 s. In a second experiment we compared reaching with preferred and non-preferred hands, and found that they were similarly affected by vestibular stimulation. The reach curvatures were in the expected direction if the nervous system anticipated and attempted to counteract the presence of Coriolis forces based on the vestibular signals. Similarly, the shorter reaches may have occurred because the nervous system was attempting to compensate for an expected centrifugal force. Since vestibular stimulation also alters the perceived location of targets, vestibular signals probably influence all stages of the sensorimotor pathway transforming the desired goal of a reach into specific motor-unit innervation.
Christopher J Bockisch; Thomas Haslwanter
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2007-06-12
Journal Detail:
Title:  Experimental brain research     Volume:  182     ISSN:  0014-4819     ISO Abbreviation:  Exp Brain Res     Publication Date:  2007 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-09-11     Completed Date:  2008-02-14     Revised Date:  2013-12-13    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0043312     Medline TA:  Exp Brain Res     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  387-97     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Analysis of Variance
Arm / physiology
Coriolis Force*
Functional Laterality
Movement / physiology
Postural Balance / physiology
Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
Reaction Time / physiology
Vestibule, Labyrinth / physiology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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