Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 519–524 | Cite as

Evidence of Normal Cerebellar Control of the Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex (VOR) in Children with High-Functioning Autism

  • Melissa C. Goldberg
  • R. Landa
  • A. Lasker
  • L. Cooper
  • D. S. Zee


The effect of “tilt-suppression” on post-rotatory vestibular nystagmus was investigated to assess the function of the caudal cerebellar vermis (lobules IX and X, or nodulus and uvula) in 13 school-age children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and 10 normal controls. Tilt-suppression of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) refers to the decreasing of the duration of post-rotatory vestibular nystagmus that occurs when the head is moved out of the plane in which it was located during the previous sustained constant-velocity rotation. The participant is rotated in a vestibular chair with the head upright and then the head is tilted forward just after the chair stops rotating. Such tilt-suppression is impaired with lesions of the cerebellar nodulus and portions of the uvula. Results show that children with HFA have normal post-rotatory nystasmus with the head upright and normal attenuation of post-rotatory nystagmus induced by head tilt. These behavioral findings suggest that lobules IX and X of the cerebellum are spared in high-functioning autism.

Postrotatory vestibular nystagmus vestibulo-ocular reflex high-functioning autism 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa C. Goldberg
    • 1
  • R. Landa
    • 1
  • A. Lasker
    • 1
  • L. Cooper
    • 1
  • D. S. Zee
    • 1
  1. 1.The Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimore

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