We have studied the effects of stimulus phase on the latency and amplitude of cVEMPs and oVEMPs by reanalysing data from Lim et al. (Exp Brain Res 224:437–445, 2013) in which alternating phase was used. Responses for the different initial stimulus phase, either positive or negative, were separated and reaveraged. We found that the phase (compressive or rarefactive) of AC 500-Hz stimuli had no significant effect on either latency or amplitude of the responses. Conversely, phase (positive = motor towards subjects) did alter the effects of BC 500-Hz stimulation. For cVEMPs, phase consistently affected initial latency with earlier responses for positive stimuli, while, for stimulation at the mastoid, negative onset phase gave larger responses. For the oVEMP, effects were different for the two sites of BC stimulation. At the forehead, the response appeared to invert, whereas at the mastoid there appeared to be a delay of the initial response. Related to this, the effect of phase for the two sites was opposite: at the mastoid, positive responses were earlier but negative were larger (particularly for long stimuli). At the forehead, the effect was the opposite: negative onset stimuli evoked earlier responses, whereas positive onset evoked larger responses. These findings indicate a basic difference in the way that AC and BC stimuli activate vestibular receptors and also indicate that the effects of phase of BC stimulation depend on location. Stimulus alternation does little to affect the response to AC stimulation but obscures the effects of BC stimuli, particularly for the oVEMP.
oVEMP VEMP Polarity Duration Phase
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This work was supported by the Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (1020577).
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