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[Neuroscience] Re: Q on vestibular system: Acceleration or velocity?

Kalman Rubinson via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by kr4 from nyu.edu)
Tue Mar 6 13:00:16 EST 2007


On Tue, 06 Mar 2007 12:15:31 +0100, Mathias
<mathiasDOTfranzius from webDELETEME.de> wrote:

>Dear ng,
>
>I'm looking for a reference about whether the vestibular system yields 
>an acceleration and/or velocity signal (e.g. used for the head direction 
>and place cell system). Googling for this I found a website...
>http://paperairplane.mit.edu/16.423J/Space/SBE/neurovestibular/NeuroVestibular/2_Physiology/PhysSub3.html
>... that claims the vestibular system outputs a velocity and not an 
>acceleration signal "over the range of normal head movements". 
>Unfortunately there is no reference and I'm not even certain about which 
>species they talk.

It has to do with the observation that most natural head movements are
very small.  So, even though the necessary stimulus is an
acceleration, the initial slope of the firing rate in response to
acceleration is an approximation of the velocity.

Not a primary reference but the only one to hand in which it is
discussed and illustrated:
Fuchs: The Vestibular System, in Textbook of Physiology, Vol. 1,
edited by Patton, Fuchs, Hille, Scher & Steiner, 21st ed., 1989.

Kal



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