Absence of a vergence-mediated vestibulo-ocular reflex gain increase does not preclude adaptation

Béla Büki, László T Tamás, Christopher J Todd, Michael C Schubert, Americo A Migliaccio

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The gain (eye-velocity/head-velocity) of the angular vestibuloocular reflex (aVOR) during head impulses can be increased while viewing near-targets and when exposed to unilateral, incremental retinal image velocity error signals. It is not clear however, whether the tonic or phasic vestibular pathways mediate these gain increases.

OBJECTIVE: Determine whether a shared pathway is responsible for gain enhancement between vergence and adaptation of aVOR gain in patients with unilateral vestibular hypofunction (UVH).

MATERIAL AND METHODS: 20 patients with UVH were examined for change in aVOR gain during a vergence task and after 15-minutes of ipsilesional incremental VOR adaptation (uIVA) using StableEyes (a device that controls a laser target as a function of head velocity) during horizontal passive head impulses. A 5 % aVOR gain increase was defined as the threshold for significant change.

RESULTS: 11/20 patients had >5% vergence-mediated gain increase during ipsi-lesional impulses. For uIVA, 10/20 patients had >5% ipsi-lesional gain increase. There was no correlation between the vergence-mediated gain increase and gain increase after uIVA training.

CONCLUSION: Vergence-enhanced and uIVA training gain increases are mediated by separate mechanisms and/or vestibular pathways (tonic/phasic). The ability to increase the aVOR gain during vergence is not prognostic for successful adaptation training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Vestibular Research: Equilibrium and Orientation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Head Movements
  • Humans
  • Reflex, Vestibulo-Ocular


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