Limb input to the cat vestibular nuclei

Acta Otolaryngol. 1979 Jan-Feb;87(1-2):113-22. doi: 10.3109/00016487909126395.


The input from fore- and hindlimbs to the vestibular nuclear complex (VNC) was investigated in awake cats. Electrical stimulus was given to the sciatic, radial and vestibular nerves bilaterally and single unit responses were recorded in the VNC with extracellular technique. The position of the microelectrode was histologically confirmed. All four major vestibular nuclei received fore- as well as hindlimb input. Forty per cent of the neurons with limb input also received vestibular afferents. No major distinguishing features appeared between the different nuclei with regard to response characteristics. Certain differences in laterality of response, quantitative fore-hindlimb ratio and somatosensory-labyrinthine convergence were observed however. Response latencies to sciatic and radial nerve stimuli always exceeded a 3 msec and were grouped around 8 and 16 msec. A third population of vestibular neurons had latencies over 20 msec. Both excitatory and inhibitory responses were recorded, with the latter not always following an activation. The findings illustrate the complex nature of the ascending pathway to the VNC and the integrative properties of this complex.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Afferent Pathways / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Ear, Inner / physiology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Forelimb
  • Hindlimb
  • Microelectrodes
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiology*
  • Radial Nerve / physiology
  • Sciatic Nerve / physiology
  • Vestibular Nerve / physiology
  • Vestibular Nuclei / physiology*