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E. D. Cornell, A. M. Burgess, H. G. Macdougall, K. Weber, L. A. McGarvie, M. Halmagyi, I. S. Curthoys; Bone Conducted Head Vibration Causes Eye Movements and Oscillopsia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):895.
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Bone conducted vibration (BCV) of the head (in the midline at the hairline-Fz) activates vestibular as well as auditory receptors. We have previously shown in adult observers that brief BCV stimuli cause short latency (10msec) excitatory potentials from surface electrodes beneath the eyes. For this study we measured eye movements produced by BCV, the effect of eccentric fixation and the perceptual movement (oscillopsia) of the fixation target to such stimuli.
Repeated 0.5 sec tone bursts at 250 Hz or 500 Hz were delivered to Fz of healthy subjects by means of a Bruel and Kjaer minishaker 4180. Eye movements were recorded by video at 120Hz or by scleral search coils with the subject looking in different gaze positions.
BCV to Fz caused small predominantly vertical eye movements. There was a clear correlation between the direction and size of the eye movement and oscillopsia. The size of the vertical eye movement depended on gaze position.
The movements of the eyes and the effect of different fixation positions confirmed that the oscillopsia was closely correlated with the eye movement. The effect of gaze eccentricity may be a way of providing information about which extraocular muscles are being activated.These very short latency (8-10ms) eye movement responses are not the nystagmus seen during long duration vibration stimulation of the mastoid or neck muscles. On the basis of vestibular neural evidence and the results from patients we suggest that this is a vestibulo-ocular response.
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