The effects of unilateral labyrinthectomy on the properties of the translational vestibuloocular reflexes (trVORs) were investigated in rhesus monkeys trained to fixate near targets. Translational motion stimuli consisted of either steady-state lateral and fore-aft sinusoidal oscillations or short-lasting transient displacements. During small-amplitude, steady- state sinusoidal lateral oscillations, a small decrease in the horizontal trVOR sensitivity and its dependence on viewing distance was observed during the first week after labyrinthectomy. These deficits gradually recovered over time. In addition, the vertical response component increased, causing a tilt of the eye velocity vector toward the lesioned side. During large, transient lateral displacements, the deficits were larger and longer lasting. Responses after labyrinthectomy were asymmetric, with eye velocity during movements toward the side of the lesion being more compromised. The most profound effect of the lesions was observed during fore-aft motion. Whereas responses were kinematically appropriate for fixation away from the side of the lesion (e.g., to the left after right labyrinthectomy), horizontal responses were anticompensatory during fixation at targets located ipsilateral to the side of the lesion (e.g., for targets to the right after right labyrinthectomy). This deficit showed little recovery during the 3-mo post-labyrinthectomy testing period. These results suggest that inputs from both labyrinths are important for the proper function of the trVORs, although the details of how bilateral signals are processed and integrated remain unknown.
ASJC Scopus subject areas