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:5/26/2017)... Dayton, NJ (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... ... in Fort Lee, New Jersey School District had left education officials with a number ... removal and replacement of the flooring had to be accomplished with little or no ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Altec Products, Inc., a leader in ... a one-day technology conference in San Diego, CA. , At nVerge 2017, Altec ... fully utilize and enhance their Sage ERP solutions by providing improved visibility and control ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... Cortland, OH (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... in Cortland, OH, can now meet with Dr. Joseph Bedich for a consultation, ... smiles while simultaneously improving their oral health and functionality. , Dr. Bedich ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... Clarkston, Lake Orion, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Endometriosis is a disease affecting the female reproductive tract in which the ... on the pelvic structures causing inflammation and pain. Patients experiencing painful intercourse, ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... offering holistic pediatric dentistry options for its patients on Long Island, New York. ... entire physical well being, and is one of the biggest trends in dentistry ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/22/2017)... May 22, 2017  Lilac Corp, the company ... the launch of a new website . ... of a clinical study that showed surprising clearance ... Gene-Eden-VIR/Novirin in individuals suffering from HPV warts, precancerous, ... there are no other treatments that clear the ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... May 18, 2017  Two Bayer U.S. Pharmaceutical leaders ... during its recent 28 th Woman of ... event showcases HBA,s longstanding mission of furthering the advancement ... Cindy Powell-Steffen , senior director of ... division, and Libby Howe , a regional business ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... 2017  Amy Baxter MD, chief executive officer and ... pain relief, was awarded a 2017 Top 40 Healthcare ... recognized at the MM&M Top 40 Healthcare Transformers dinner ... on May 10, 2017. The dinner followed a ... "beyond the pill."  "Innovation goes beyond invention," ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: