Cortical and subcortical vestibular response to caloric stimulation detected by functional magnetic resonance imaging

Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2001 Dec;12(3):441-9. doi: 10.1016/s0926-6410(01)00080-5.


The posterior insula, central sulcus, and inferior parietal lobule including the intraparietal sulcus have been considered the vestibular cortex based on functional brain mapping in humans as well as experiments in lower primates. The same regions receive optokinetic, visual, and proprioceptive projections. We examined the cortical and subcortical projection of vestibular activity with visual and proprioceptive input eliminated during caloric stimulation (CS), using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Single-shot gradient-echo echoplanar image (EPI) volumes were sensitive to BOLD contrast in oblique orientation. We adopted a pharmacokinetic model for analysis of imaging data from 10 subjects as a group. The insular gyrus, intraparietal sulcus, superior temporal gyrus, hippocampus, cingulate gyrus, and thalamus showed activation by CS. Cortical and subcortical activation during CS in the present study was observed within regions less precisely delineated by other methods. As intraparietal sulcus activation showed right hemispheric dominance, this region may have an oculomotor projection as well as the vestibular input.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autonomic Nervous System
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Cold Temperature
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Hearing / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Therapeutic Irrigation
  • Thermosensing / physiology*
  • Vertigo / physiopathology
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / physiology*