Absence of a vergence-mediated vestibulo-ocular reflex gain increase does not preclude adaptation

Béla Büki, László T. Tamás, Christopher J. Todd, Michael C. Schubert, Americo A. Migliaccio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The gain (eye-velocity/head-velocity) of the angular vestibuloocular reflex (aVOR) during head impulses can be increased while viewing near-targets and when exposed to unilateral, incremental retinal image velocity error signals. It is not clear however, whether the tonic or phasic vestibular pathways mediate these gain increases. OBJECTIVE: Determine whether a shared pathway is responsible for gain enhancement between vergence and adaptation of aVOR gain in patients with unilateral vestibular hypofunction (UVH). MATERIAL AND METHODS: 20 patients with UVH were examined for change in aVOR gain during a vergence task and after 15-minutes of ipsilesional incremental VOR adaptation (uIVA) using StableEyes (a device that controls a laser target as a function of head velocity) during horizontal passive head impulses. A 5 % aVOR gain increase was defined as the threshold for significant change. RESULTS: 11/20 patients had >5% vergence-mediated gain increase during ipsi-lesional impulses. For uIVA, 10/20 patients had >5% ipsi-lesional gain increase. There was no correlation between the vergence-mediated gain increase and gain increase after uIVA training. CONCLUSION: Vergence-enhanced and uIVA training gain increases are mediated by separate mechanisms and/or vestibular pathways (tonic/phasic). The ability to increase the aVOR gain during vergence is not prognostic for successful adaptation training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Vestibular Research: Equilibrium and Orientation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Vestibular neuritis
  • vestibular adaptation
  • vestibuloocular reflex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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