1. During rotations that dynamically activate utricular and saccular primary afferents, the otolith system centrally detects the velocity and direction of rotation of the head in space. This property is experimentally manifested as a steady-state compensatory nystagmus during constant velocity off-vertical axis rotations. The computational, physiological, and anatomic details of this response remain presently unknown. Here we report that surgical inactivation of the cerebellar nodulus and ventral uvula abolished the ability of the otolith system to generate steady-state nystagmus during constant velocity rotation and to improve the dynamics of the vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) during low-frequency sinusoidal oscillations about off-vertical axes in rhesus monkeys. These results suggest that the cerebellar nodulus and/or ventral uvula comprise pan of the neural substrate that is involved in these computations.
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