Contributions of ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials and the electrooculogram to periocular potentials produced by whole-body vibration

J Appl Physiol (1985). 2012 Nov;113(10):1613-23. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00375.2012. Epub 2012 Sep 13.


In this paper we report the results of an experiment to investigate the emergence of ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (OVEMPs) during the linear vestibular ocular reflex (LVOR) evoked by whole-body vibration (WBV). OVEMP and electrooculogram (EOG) montages were employed to record periocular potentials (POPs) from six subjects during WBV in the nasooccipital (NO) axis over a range of frequencies from 0.5 to 64 Hz with approximately constant peak head acceleration of 1.0 ms(-2) (i.e., 0.1 g). Measurements were made in two context conditions: a fixation context to examine the effect of gaze eccentricity (0 vs. 20°), and a visual context, where a target was either head-fixed or earth-fixed. The principal results are that from 0.5 to 2 Hz POP magnitude in the earth-fixed condition is related to head displacement, so with constant acceleration at all frequencies it reduces with increasing frequency, but at frequencies greater than 2 Hz both POP magnitude and POP gain, defined as the ratio of POP magnitude at 20 and 0°, increase with increasing frequency. By exhibiting this high-pass characteristic, a property shared with the LVOR, the results are consistent with the hypothesis that the OVEMP, as commonly employed in the clinical setting, is a high-frequency manifestation of the LVOR. However, we also observed low-frequency acceleration following POPs in head-fixed conditions, consistent with a low-frequency OVEMP, and found evidence of a high-frequency visual context effect, which is also consistent with the OVEMP being a manifestation of the LVOR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Electromyography
  • Electrooculography*
  • Eye Movements*
  • Head Movements*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oculomotor Muscles / innervation*
  • Reflex, Vestibulo-Ocular*
  • Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials*
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / innervation*
  • Vibration*
  • Vision, Ocular