The vertical vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) was recorded in cats using electro-oculography during sinusoidal angular pitch. Peak stimulus velocity was 50°/s over a frequency range from 0.01 to 4.0 Hz. To test the effect of gravity on the vertical VOR, the animal was pitched while sitting upright or lying on its side. Upright pitch changed the cat's orientation relative to gravity, while on-side pitch did not. The cumulative slow component position of the eye during on-side pitch was less symmetric than during upright pitch. Over the mid-frequency range (0.1 to 1.0 Hz), the average gain of the vertical VOR was 14.5% higher during upright pitch than during on-side pitch. At low frequencies (<0.05 Hz) changing head position relative to gravity raised the vertical VOR gain and kept the reflex in phase with stimulus velocity. These results indicate that gravity-sensitive mechanisms make the vertical VOR more compensatory.
- Gravity receptors
- Head pitch
- Vertical eye-movement symmetry
- Vertical vestibulo-ocular reflex
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