Development of a biophysical model for vestibular prosthesis research

J. T. Rubinstein, C. C. Della Santina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Physiologic properties of primary vestibular neurons are compared and contrasted with properties of primary auditory neurons. The differences and similarities suggest possible coding strategies for a vestibular implant. The degree of spike rate variability, or coefficient of variation (CV), is a prominent physiological property of vestibular neurons with undetermined functional significance. At the very least, CV is highly correlated with threshold to electrical stimulation in the intact vestibular labyrinth. If CV is also important for vestibular coding, then electrical stimulation strategies should be designed to restore relatively physiologic patterns of CV. Simulations using a stochastic model of primary afferent vestibular neurons reveal that this should be possible using combinations of low and high-rate pulsatile stimulation. They also demonstrate that differences in the number and independence of synaptic inputs can significantly affect CV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Vestibular Research: Equilibrium and Orientation
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2002


  • Electrical stimulation
  • Stochastic simulation
  • Vestibular nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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