Archives of oto-rhino-laryngology

, Volume 246, Issue 4, pp 195–199 | Cite as

The effect of alcohol on the vestibulo-ocular reflex and gaze regulation

  • M. Takahashi
  • I. Akiyama
  • N. Tsujita
  • A. Yoshida
Original Investigations


To clarify the effect of the temporary decline in cerebellar function on the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) and gaze functions, we examined 12 normal adults under passive rotations before and after they drank alcohol at dosages of 0.43 and 0.65 g/ kg. Whereas spatial gaze fixation was maintained accurately with 0.65 g/kg administration (0.06% blood alcohol level), gaze fixation on a head-fixed target and smooth pursuit were impaired by the higher dosage of 0.43 g/kg (0.03% blood alcohol). The magnitude of the alteration in the VOR gain after drinking was correlated significantly with the VOR gain before drinking: while small values were enhanced by drinking, large values were suppressed. The present study indicates that the VOR in the dark is regulated by the balance between the amplifying and suppressing forces controlled by the cerebellum.

Key words

Vestibulo-ocular reflex Gaze functions Smooth pursuit Alcohol 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Takahashi
    • 1
  • I. Akiyama
    • 2
  • N. Tsujita
    • 2
  • A. Yoshida
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of OtolaryngologyKeio University School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of OtolaryngologyTokyo Women's Medical CollegeTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of OtolaryngologyUniversity of Occupational and Environmental HealthKitakyushuJapan

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