Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 155, Issue 1, pp 81–90 | Cite as

Spatial tuning and dynamics of vestibular semicircular canal afferents in rhesus monkeys

  • Asim Haque
  • Dora E. Angelaki
  • J. David DickmanEmail author
Research Article


Rotational head motion in vertebrates is detected by the three semicircular canals of the vestibular system whose innervating primary afferent fibers encode movement information in specific head planes. In order to further investigate the nature of vestibular central processing of rotational motion in rhesus monkeys, it was first necessary to quantify afferent information coding in this species. Extracellular recordings were performed to determine the spatial and dynamic properties of semicircular canal afferents to rotational motion in awake rhesus monkeys. We found that the afferents innervating specific semicircular canals had maximum sensitivity vectors that were mutually orthogonal. Similar to other species, afferent response dynamics varied, with regular firing afferents having increased long time constants (t 1), decreased cupula velocity time constants (t v), and decreased fractional order dynamic operator values (s k) as compared to irregular firing afferents.


Sensory-motor Oculomotor Spatial orientation Vestibulo-ocular reflex Semicircular canals Vestibular 



The authors would like to thank Benny Harris and Jesus Loya for their fine technical assistance. The work was supported by grants from NIH (DC04160), and HHMI (57003555). NASA (NAG2-1493).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asim Haque
    • 1
  • Dora E. Angelaki
    • 2
  • J. David Dickman
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of OtolaryngologyWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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