1. The ability of the vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) to undergo adaptive modification after selective changes in the peripheral vestibular system was investigated in rhesus monkeys by recording three dimensional eye movements before and after inactivation of selective semicircular canals. In the preceding paper we showed that the horizontal VOR gain evoked by passive yaw oscillations after lateral semicircular canal inactivation recovers gradually over time in a frequency-specific manner. Here we present the spatial tuning of the adapted slow phase eye velocity and describe its spatiotemporal properties as a function of time after canal inactivation. 2. The spatial organization of the VOR was investigated during oscillations at different head positions in the pitch, roll, and yaw planes, as well as in the right anterior/left posterior and left anterior/right posterior canal planes. Acutely after bilateral inactivation of the lateral semicircular canals, a small horizontal response could still be elicited that peaked during rotations in pitched head positions that would maximally stimulate vertical semicircular canals. In addition, the phase of horizontal slow-phase velocity abruptly reversed through 180° at positions close to upright, similarly to torsional slow-phase velocity. These spatial response properties suggest that the small, residual horizontal response components that are present acutely after plugging of both lateral canals originate from vertical semicircular canal signals. 3. As the horizontal response amplitude increased over time, consistent changes were also observed in the spatiotemporal tuning of horizontal slow phase velocity. 1) The spatiotemporal response properties of horizontal slow-phase velocity acquired noncosine tuning characteristics, primarily in the pitch plane, in the right anterior/left posterior and left anterior/right posterior canal planes. Accordingly, horizontal response amplitude was nonzero during rotation in any head position in these planes and response phase varied significantly as a function of head orientation. 2) The peak horizontal response amplitude shifted spatially over time, such that 5-10 mo after plugging it was maximal during rotations at head positions close to upright. 4. In parallel to these unique spatiotemporal response properties characterizing the adapted horizontal VOR, torsional slow-phase velocity also exhibited small spatiotemporal changes after lateral canal inactivation that tended to precede in time the changes associated with the horizontal response components. In contrast, vertical slow-phase velocity in the plugged animals was unaltered and continued to be characterized by cosine-tuned spatial properties in three dimensions. 5. Recovery of the horizontal response gain during yaw oscillations in upright position, as well as the unique, noncosine spatiotemporal characteristics of the adapted horizontal VOR, were also observed in an animal with all but one vertical semicircular canals inactivated. There was, however, no sign of VOR gain recovery up to 2 mo after all semicircular canals were inactivated. These results suggest that the observed recovery of horizontal VOR is at least partly due to signals originating from the remaining intact vertical canal(s). Even in the presence of a single intact vertical canal, the improvement in horizontal gaze stability is at least partly restored through spatiotemporal changes in the processing of vestibuloocular signals that improve the gain and spatial tuning of horizontal VOR at the expense of temporal response properties.
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