Short-lasting, transient head displacements and near target fixation were used to measure the latency and early response gain of vestibularly evoked eye movements during lateral and fore-aft translations in rhesus monkeys. The latency of the horizontal eye movements elicited during lateral motion was 11.9 ± 5.4 ms. Viewing distance-dependent behavior was seen as early as the beginning of the response profile. For fore-aft motion, latencies were different for forward and backward displacements. Latency averaged 7.1 ± 9.3 ms during forward motion (same for both eyes) and 12.5 ± 6.3 ms for the adducting eye (e.g., left eye during right fixation) during backward motion. Latencies during backward motion were significantly longer for the abducting eye (18.9 ± 9.8 ms). Initial acceleration gains of the two eyes were generally larger than unity but asymmetric. Specifically, gains were consistently larger for abducting than adducting eye movements. The large initial acceleration gains tended to compensate for the response latencies such that the early eye movement response approached, albeit consistently incompletely, that required for maintaining visual acuity during the movement. These short-latency vestibuloocular responses could complement the visually generated optic flow responses that have been shown to exhibit much longer latencies.
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