Recent studies have shown that reflexes and perception evoked by vestibular cues can utilize qualitatively different mechanisms;yet there is a paucity of knowledge regarding vestibular perception. This may be why large percentages of vestibular patients report perceptual deficits that are undiagnosed. Regardless of explanation, the underlying causes of many perceptual deficits are not diagnosed. With the exception of the subjective visual vertical test, quantitative clinical tests focus exclusively on reflexive responses. However, the best way to assay undiagnosed motion perception symptoms is via perceptual testing. Therefore, the clinical goal for the research proposed herein is to establish precise efficient methods to quantify motion perception in general and, more specifically, to assay perceptual thresholds. To achieve these clinical goals, we propose patient testing alongside basic science studies. Specifically, one basic science goal of this proposal is to determine thresholds for rotation, translation, and tilt as functions of frequency. To our surprise, tilt thresholds evoked by dynamic tilt stimuli have never been reported. Furthermore, our knowledge of rotation and translation thresholds as a function of frequency - crucial both for clinical testing and for a scientific understanding of the dynamics of vestibular perception - is limited. Using threshold tests, we also propose to study another fundamental characteristic of vestibular perception. Specifically we propose to study the coordinate frame(s) utilized for motion perception. While we focus on perception, we also propose to measure VOR thresholds. To accomplish all of the above goals, we propose a comprehensive set of studies using patients, monkeys, and "normals" to achieve the following specific aims: SA 1. Measure perceptual thresholds in "normal" humans for A) rotations about an earth-vertical axis (canal only), B) for translations (otolith only), and C) for tilts (canal &otolith) across a wide range of frequencies. SA 2. Measure both perceptual and VOR thresholds for yaw rotation (canal only), inter-aural translation (otolith only) and roll tilt (canal and otolith) in rhesus monkeys. SA 3. Measure perceptual thresholds for rotation, translation, and tilt in patients suffering known vestibular disorders.

Public Health Relevance

Large percentages of vestibular patients report perceptual deficits (e.g., illusory sway motions) that are undiagnosed. With the exception of the subjective visual vertical test, which assays integration of static visual and static tilt cues, quantitative clinical tests focus exclusively on reflexive responses (e.g., posture, VOR, etc.). It seems likely that the best way to assay undiagnosed motion perception symptoms is via perceptual testing using dynamic motion stimuli. Therefore, the clinical goal for the research proposed herein is to establish precise efficient methods to quantify motion perception in general and, more specifically, to assay perceptual thresholds.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DC004158-13
Application #
8523030
Study Section
Sensorimotor Integration Study Section (SMI)
Program Officer
Platt, Christopher
Project Start
1999-08-01
Project End
2014-08-31
Budget Start
2013-09-01
Budget End
2014-08-31
Support Year
13
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$519,469
Indirect Cost
$184,669
Name
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Department
Type
DUNS #
073825945
City
Boston
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02114
Mardirossian, Vartan; Karmali, Faisal; Merfeld, Daniel (2014) Thresholds for human perception of roll tilt motion: patterns of variability based on visual, vestibular, and mixed cues. Otol Neurotol 35:857-60
Karmali, Faisal; Lim, Koeun; Merfeld, Daniel M (2014) Visual and vestibular perceptual thresholds each demonstrate better precision at specific frequencies and also exhibit optimal integration. J Neurophysiol 111:2393-403
Chaudhuri, Shomesh E; Merfeld, Daniel M (2013) Signal detection theory and vestibular perception: III. Estimating unbiased fit parameters for psychometric functions. Exp Brain Res 225:133-46
Hartmann, Matthias; Furrer, Sarah; Herzog, Michael H et al. (2013) Self-motion perception training: thresholds improve in the light but not in the dark. Exp Brain Res 226:231-40
Haburcakova, Csilla; Lewis, Richard F; Merfeld, Daniel M (2012) Frequency dependence of vestibuloocular reflex thresholds. J Neurophysiol 107:973-83
Merfeld, Daniel M (2011) Signal detection theory and vestibular thresholds: I. Basic theory and practical considerations. Exp Brain Res 210:389-405
Rader, Andrew A; Oman, Charles M; Merfeld, Daniel M (2011) Perceived tilt and translation during variable-radius swing motion with congruent or conflicting visual and vestibular cues. Exp Brain Res 210:173-84
Lewis, Richard F; Priesol, Adrian J; Nicoucar, Keyvan et al. (2011) Abnormal motion perception in vestibular migraine. Laryngoscope 121:1124-5
Merfeld, Daniel M; Priesol, Adrian; Lee, Daniel et al. (2010) Potential solutions to several vestibular challenges facing clinicians. J Vestib Res 20:71-7
Wang, Zhenshan; Li, Vicky; Chan, Guy C K et al. (2009) Adult type 3 adenylyl cyclase-deficient mice are obese. PLoS One 4:e6979

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