Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The Vestibulo-Auricular Reflex

By Daniel J. Tollin, Janet L. Ruhland and Tom C. T. Yin

Abstract

The mammalian orienting response to sounds consists of a gaze shift that can be a combination of head and eye movements. In animals with mobile pinnae, the ears also move. During head movements, vision is stabilized by compensatory rotations of the eyeball within the head because of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). While studying the gaze shifts made by cats to sounds, a previously uncharacterized compensatory movement was discovered. The pinnae exhibited short-latency, goal-directed movements that reached their target while the head was still moving. The pinnae maintained a fixed position in space by counter-rotating on the head with an equal but opposite velocity to the head movement. We call these compensatory ear movements the vestibulo-auricular reflex (VAR) because they shared many kinematic characteristics with the VOR. Control experiments ruled out efference copy of head position signals and acoustic tracking (audiokinetic) of the source as the cause of the response. The VAR may serve to stabilize the auditory world during head movements

Topics: Articles
Publisher: American Physiological Society
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2666401
Provided by: PubMed Central
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.g... (external link)
  • Suggested articles


    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.