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the evolution of concepts of vestibular peripheral information processing: toward the dynamic, adaptive, parallel processing macular modelIn a letter to Robert Hooke, written on 5 February, 1675, Isaac Newton wrote "If I have seen further than certain other men it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." In his context, Newton was referring to the work of Galileo and Kepler, who preceded him. However, every field has its own giants, those men and women who went before us and, often with few tools at their disposal, uncovered the facts that enabled later researchers to advance knowledge in a particular area. This review traces the history of the evolution of views from early giants in the field of vestibular research to modern concepts of vestibular organ organization and function. Emphasis will be placed on the mammalian maculae as peripheral processors of linear accelerations acting on the head. This review shows that early, correct findings were sometimes unfortunately disregarded, impeding later investigations into the structure and function of the vestibular organs. The central themes are that the macular organs are highly complex, dynamic, adaptive, distributed parallel processors of information, and that historical references can help us to understand our own place in advancing knowledge about their complicated structure and functions.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Ross, Muriel D.
(University of New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Acta oto-laryngologica
Volume: 123
Issue: 7
ISSN: 0001-6489
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Review, Tutorial
Non-NASA Center
NASA Discipline Neuroscience
NASA Program Fundamental Space Biology