Horizontal and vertical eye movements were recorded in alert, restrained cats that were subjected to whole-body rotations with the horizontal semicircular canals in the plane of rotation and the body centered on the axis or 45 cm eccentric from the axis of rotation. Changes in the horizontal vestibulo-ocular reflex (HVOR) due to the resultant of the linear forces (i.e., gravity and linear acceleration) acting on the otolith organs were examined during off-axis rotation when there was a centripetal acceleration along the animal's interaural axis. The HVOR time constant was slightly shortened when the resultant otolith force was not parallel to the animal's vertical axis. This effect was independent of the direction of the otolith force relative to the direction of the slow phase eye velocity. No effect on the HVOR amplitude was observed. In addition to changes in the HVOR dynamics, a significant vertical component of eye velocity was observed during stimulation of the horizontal canals when the resultant otolith force was not parallel with the animal's vertical axis. The effect was greater for larger angles between the resultant otolith force and gravity. An upward or downward component was elicited, depending on the direction of the horizontal component of eye velocity and the direction of the resultant otolith force. The vertical component was always in the direction that would tend to align the eye velocity vector with the resultant otolith force and keep the eye movement in a plane that had been rotated by the angle between the resultant otolith force and gravity.
- Horizontal vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR)
- Linear acceleration
- Vestibular system
- Visual suppression