Effects of Vestibular and Cerebellar Deficits on Gaze and Torso Stability During Ambulation

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000 Jul;123(1 Pt 1):22-9. doi: 10.1067/mhn.2000.105923.


We measured gaze, head, and torso stability during ambulation to determine how vestibulo-ocular reflex dysfunction caused by unilateral vestibulopathy, bilateral vestibulopathy, and cerebellar dysfunction might affect image stabilization on the retina. Subjects were tested during standing, walking, and running on a treadmill. Gaze velocity, vestibulo-ocular reflex gain, and head velocities were calculated from angular positions of the eye and head, as well as linear positions of the head and trunk. Mean gaze velocity with a visible, distant target was below 4 degrees /second for all measurement conditions in control and vestibulopathic subjects. The performance of unilaterally vestibulopathic subjects was indistinguishable from that of control subjects except that the former had less vertical translation during walking. Bilaterally vestibulopathic subjects demonstrated less head translation than control subjects but had higher gaze velocity. In subjects with cerebellar dysfunction, gaze velocity was elevated by pathologic nystagmus, but head movements were similar to those of control subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebellar Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cerebellar Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Cerebellar Diseases / surgery
  • Cerebellum / physiopathology
  • Cerebellum / surgery
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular / physiology
  • Head Movements / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orientation / physiology
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Reflex, Vestibulo-Ocular / physiology*
  • Vestibular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Vestibular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Vestibular Diseases / surgery
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / physiopathology
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / surgery
  • Walking / physiology*