Navigation Links
Our primitive reflexes may be more sophisticated than they appear, study shows
Date:2/14/2013

Supposedly 'primitive' reflexes may involve more sophisticated brain function than previously thought, according to researchers at Imperial College London.

The Vestibular-Ocular Reflex (or VOR), common to most vertebrates, is what allows us to keep our eyes focused on a fixed point even while our heads are moving. Up until now, scientists had assumed this reflex was controlled by the lower brainstem, which regulates eating, sleeping and other low-level tasks.

Researchers at Imperial's Division of Brain Sciences conducted tests to examine this reflex in left- and right-handed subjects, revealing that handedness plays a key role in the way it operates. This suggests that higher-level functions in the cortex, which govern handedness, are involved in the control of primitive reflexes such as the VOR.

The research, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, involved seating volunteers in a motorised chair which was then spun around at a speed of one revolution every four seconds. This allowed the experimenters to study the VOR by measuring the time it took for the eyes to adjust to the spinning motion. The subjects were then presented with what are known as bistable visual phenomena, optical illusions which appear to flip between two images. Famous examples include the duck which resembles a rabbit, and the cube outline which appears to come out of and go into the page simultaneously.

Scientists already know that this bistable perception is controlled by a part of the cortex which governs more complex, decision-based tasks. Because of this, researcher Qadeer Arshad and his colleagues did not expect to find any link between the two processes.

They were surprised to find that processing bistable phenomena disrupted people's ability to stabilise their gaze, following rightward rotation in right handers and leftward rotation in left handers. Arshad said "This is the first time that anything of this kind has been shown. Up until now, the Vestibular-Ocular Reflex was considered a low-level reflex, not even approaching higher-order brain function. Now it seems that this primitive reflex was specialised into the cortex, the part of the brain which governs our sense of direction."

This study could help scientists understand why some people become dizzy through experiencing purely visual stimuli, such as flickering lights or busy supermarket aisles. Professor Adolfo Bronstein, a co-author on the paper, said "Most causes of dizziness start with an inner ear - or vestibular - disorder but this initial phase tends to settle quite rapidly. In some patients, however, dizziness becomes a problematic long term problem and their dizziness becomes visually induced. The experimental set-up we used would be ideally suited to help us understand how visual stimuli could lead to long-term dizziness. In fact, we have already carried out research at Imperial around using complex visual stimuli to treat patients with long-term dizziness"


'/>"/>

Contact: Gilead Amit
gda07@imperial.ac.uk
44-020-759-46702
Imperial College London
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study Suggests Vaccine May Help Kids With Brain Cancer
2. Study reveals how cancer drug causes diabetic-like state
3. Coffee Drinking in Pregnancy Wont Lead to Sleepless Baby: Study
4. Lower GI problems plague many with rheumatoid arthritis, Mayo Clinic study finds
5. Veggies Like Broccoli, Cabbage May Help Fight Breast Cancer: Study
6. No Added Cancer Risk From Hip Replacement Materials: Study
7. Reported Decline in U.S. Pneumonia Deaths May Be False: Study
8. Early Study Finds Some Promise for Lung Cancer Vaccine
9. Narcissists Often Ace Job Interviews, Study Finds
10. Sexual objectification of female artists in music videos exists regardless of race, MU study finds
11. Soy may alleviate hot flashes in menopause, large-scale study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... Research Institute (WCRI) officially opened registration today for its 33rd Annual Issues ... Boston, MA . , The theme of the conference is “Persistent Challenges and ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Pa. (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... Medicine Southern Chester County, a Property owned by an affiliate of Seavest, has ... square foot Penn Medicine Southern Chester County ambulatory care center (ACC) was named ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... With the increasing demand for dental implants, the ... (WIYM) campaign to inform dentists and patients about the safety issues related to dental ... market in the U.S. is projected to reach $6.4 billion in 2018 with more ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... access for customers and employees that are both engaging and easy to use. ... Smart Technology, the software company revealed today its plans to roll out new ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... has been recognized for adherence to the highest standards of trauma, maternity, ... organizations, announced the center's president and CEO, Dr. Daniel Messina. , Among the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... , Dec. 9, 2016   Hudes Laser ... December featuring the multi-wavelength Astanza Trinity laser and ... specializes in laser tattoo removal, IPL hair removal, ... ultrasound therapy. Hudes Laser Aesthetica is setting high ... and promises to deliver effective, long-lasting ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... OSAKA, Japan , Dec. 9, 2016 ... ; President & Representative Director, CEO: Dr. ... with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) given edaravone intravenously in ... functional loss as measured by the ALS Functional Rating ... th International Symposium on ALS/MND in ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... 9, 2016  Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NYSE: ... focused on the treatment of dementia, today announced ... Phase 2b trial evaluating treatment with intepirdine (RVT-101), ... donepezil plus placebo in people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer,s ... intepirdine to treatment was associated with reduced progression ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: