Sensory vestibular contributions to constructing internal models of self-motion

Andrea M. Green, Aasef G. Shaikh, Dora Angelaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The ability to navigate in the world and execute appropriate behavioral and motor responses depends critically on our capacity to construct an accurate internal representation of our current motion and orientation in space. Vestibular sensory signals are among those that may make an essential contribution to the construction of such 'internal models'. Movement in a gravitational environment represents a situation where the construction of internal models becomes particularly important because the otolith organs, like any linear accelerometer, sense inertial and gravitational accelerations equivalently. Otolith afferents thus provide inherently ambiguous motion information, as they respond identically to translation and head reorientation relative to gravity. Resolution of this ambiguity requires the nonlinear integration of linear acceleration and angular velocity cues, as predicted by the physical equations of motion. Here, we summarize evidence that during translations and tilts from upright the firing rates of brainstem and cerebellar neurons encode a combination of dynamically processed semicircular canal and otolith signals appropriate to construct an internal model representation of the computations required for inertial motion detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Neural Engineering
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005

Fingerprint

Otolithic Membrane
Angular velocity
Canals
Accelerometers
Semicircular Canals
Neurons
Equations of motion
Aptitude
Gravitation
Brain Stem
Cues
Head

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Sensory vestibular contributions to constructing internal models of self-motion. / Green, Andrea M.; Shaikh, Aasef G.; Angelaki, Dora.

In: Journal of Neural Engineering, Vol. 2, No. 3, 01.09.2005.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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