Clarke A H, Haslwanter T, 2006, "The collinearity of Listing's plane and the vestibulo-oculomotor response in microgravity" Perception 35 ECVP Abstract Supplement
The collinearity of Listing's plane and the vestibulo-oculomotor response in microgravity
A H Clarke, T Haslwanter
The internal coordinates of the vestibular system are defined by the orientation of the 3-D vestibulo-ocular reflex (3-D VOR), and those of the oculomotor system by the so-called Listing's plane. The internal, neurally represented coordinate systems related to the vestibular and oculomotor systems are generally thought to be collinear under normal gravity conditions. The working hypothesis is that in microgravity the orientation of the Listing's plane diverges from that of the VOR coordinate frame. The orientation of the 3-D VOR is determined by measurement and analysis of eye and head movements during active head roll, pitch, and yaw movements. Listing's plane is calculated from measurements of random saccades. All eye and head movements are recorded and measured with the DLR eye-tracking device, a flight version of which is installed on the International Space Station (ISS). To date, the results indicate that not only the orientation of the 3-D VOR, but also that of the Listing's plane of the individuals is altered during microgravity. This demonstrates that the otolith-mediated gravity vector represents a common spatial reference for the central nervous system, the loss of which may lead to a dissociation of these closely coupled systems.
[Supported by Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt grant WB 0023.]
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