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low-frequency otolith function in microgravity: a re-evaluation of the otolith tilt-translation reinterpretation (ottr) hypothesisOn Earth, the low-frequency afferent signal from the otoliths encodes head tilt with respect to the gravitational vertical, and the higher frequency components reflect both tilt and linear acceleration of the head. In microgravity, static tilt of the head does not influence otolith output, and the relationship between sensory input from the vestibular organs, and the visual, proprioceptive and somatosensory systems, would be disrupted. Several researchers have proposed that in 0-g this conflict may induce a reinterpretation of all otolith signals by the brain to encode only linear translation (otolith tilt-translation reinterpretation or OTTR). Ocular counter-rolling (OCR) is a low-frequency otolith-mediated reflex, which generates compensatory torsional eye movements (rotation about the visual axis) towards the spatial vertical during static roll tilt with a gain of approximately 10%. Transient linear acceleration and off-axis centrifugation at a constant angular velocity can also generate OCR. According to the OTTR hypothesis, OCR should be reduced in microgravity, and immediately upon return from a 0-g environment. Results to date have been inconclusive. OCR was reduced following the 10 day Spacelab-1 mission in response to leftward roll tilts (28-56% in 3 subjects and unchanged in one subject), and sinusoidal linear oscillations at 0.4 and 0.8 Hz. OCR gain declined 70% in four monkeys following a 14 day COSMOS mission. Following a 30 day MIR mission OCR gain decreased in one astronaut, but increased in two others following a 180 day mission. We have studied the affect of microgravity on low-frequency otolith function as part of a larger study of the interaction of vision and the vestibular system. This experiment (E-047) involved off-axis centrifugation of payload crewmembers and flew aboard the recent Neurolab mission (STS 90). Presented below are preliminary results focusing on perception and the OCR response during both centrifugation and static tilt.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Moore, Steven T.
(Mount Sinai School of Medicine New York, NY United States)
Cohen, Bernard
(Mount Sinai School of Medicine New York, NY United States)
Clement, Gilles
(Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Toulouse, France)
Raphan, Theodore
(State Univ. of New York Brooklyn, NY United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1999
Publication Information
Publication: Proceedings of the First Biennial Space Biomedical Investigators' Workshop
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle20000020485Analytic PrimaryProceedings of the First Biennial Space Biomedical Investigators' Workshop
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