Vestibular and oculomotor influences on visual dependency

Article


Roberts, R. Edward, Da Silva Melo, Mariane, Siddiqui, Aazim A, Arshad, Qadeer and Patel, M. 2016. Vestibular and oculomotor influences on visual dependency. Journal of Neurophysiology. 116 (3), pp. 1480-1487.
AuthorsRoberts, R. Edward, Da Silva Melo, Mariane, Siddiqui, Aazim A, Arshad, Qadeer and Patel, M.
Abstract

The degree to which a person relies on visual stimuli for spatial orientation is termed visual dependency (VD). VD is considered a perceptual trait or cognitive style influenced by psychological factors and mediated by central re-weighting of the sensory inputs involved in spatial orientation. VD is often measured using the rod-and-disk test, wherein participants align a central rod to the subjective visual vertical (SVV) in the presence of a background that is either stationary or rotating around the line of sight - dynamic SVV. Although this task has been employed to assess VD in health and vestibular disease, it is unknown what effect torsional nystagmic eye movements may have on individual performance. Using caloric ear irrigation, 3D video-oculography and the rod-and-disk test, we show that caloric torsional nystagmus modulates measures of visual dependency and demonstrate that increases in tilt after irrigation are positively correlated with changes in ocular torsional eye movements. When the direction of the slow phase of the torsional eye movement induced by the caloric is congruent with that induced by the rotating visual stimulus, there is a significant increase in tilt. When these two torsional components are in opposition there is a decrease. These findings show that measures of visual dependence can be influenced by oculomotor responses induced by caloric stimulation. The findings are of significance for clinical studies as they indicate that VD, which often increases in vestibular disorders, is not only modulated by changes in cognitive style but also by eye movements, in particular nystagmus.

JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Journal citation116 (3), pp. 1480-1487
ISSN1522-1598
0022-3077
Year2016
PublisherAmerican Physiological Society
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Repository staff only
Publisher's version
License
CC BY
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1152/jn.00895.2015
Publication dates
Print29 Jun 2016
Online20 Sep 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Jul 2016
Accepted27 Jun 2016
Accepted27 Jun 2016
Copyright information© 2016 Journal of Neurophysiology
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