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Measurement of the vestibulo-ocular reflex by magnetometry during active head movement

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Alan MurrayORCiD


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A new method of measuring the vestibule-ocular reflex (VOR) during active head movements is presented. Subjects sat and attempted to maintain their gaze upon a fixed point whilst turning their heads from side to side in response to an auditory cue, to attain frequencies of head rotation that increased from 1 Hz to 4 Hz during a 24 s period. Head movements were monitored by a small magnetic field detector worn on the subject's forehead and positioned a set distance from a magnetic field transmitter coil. Eye movements were monitored using the corneo-retinal potential. Gain (eye angle/head angle) and phase difference (eye phase-head phase) were calculated to define the VOR. Three repeat measurements were made on 20 normal subjects. Gain decreased significantly (P < 0.0001) with increasing frequency whilst the phase difference remained unchanged. The 95% prediction intervals were narrow for both gain (+/- 0.28) and phase (+/- 11 degrees). These data, together with the speed and ease of performance of the test, suggest that the test can provide valuable information on the performance of the vestibular system.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Aldren CP, FitzGerald JE, Kelly P, Birchall JP, Murray A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published


Year: 1996

Volume: 30

Issue: 5

Pages: 325-331

Print publication date: 01/10/1996

ISSN (print):

ISSN (electronic):