Back to overview

Three-dimensional kinematical analysis of ocular motor disorders in humans

English title Three-dimensional kinematical analysis of ocular motor disorders in humans
Applicant Straumann Dominik
Number 105434
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Neurologische Klinik Universitätsspital Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Neurophysiology and Brain Research
Start/End 01.09.2004 - 31.08.2007
Approved amount 425'000.00
Show all

All Disciplines (2)

Neurophysiology and Brain Research
Neurology, Psychiatry

Keywords (12)

EYE MOVEMENT DISORDERS; Humans; Neuro-ophthalmology; NEURO-OTOLOGY; Neurology; Three-dimensional ocular kinematics; otoliths; gravity; vestibulo-ocular reflex; rotation; translation; adaptation

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
The long-term goal of this researchis to better understand diseases of the ocular motor system in humans and to assess potential treatments. The focus of interest is on the three-dimensional (horizontal, vertical, torsional) kinematical properties of ocular rotations. Specifically, we explore eye movements in patients with (1) peripheral vestibular lesions, (2) cerebellar disorders, and (3) strabismus. In general, ocular motor disorders are kinematically anisotropic, i.e. they are relatively restricted to particular directions (e.g. spontaneous nystagmus in cerebellar disease typically is directed downward). This directional specificity of eye movement disorders suggests imbalances of sensory or motor signals along confined planes. Therefore, by asymmetric adaptation in these planes, one should be able to transiently reproduce ocular motor disorders in healthy subjects and, if successful, use inverse paradigms to decrease ocular motor aberrations in patients (aim 1). - Linear accelerometers, such as the otolith organs, cannot discriminate between linear acceleration and reorientation of gravity (according to A. Einstein). Thus the brain must integrate otolith and other sensory signals to distinguish e.g. between head roll tilt (leading to compensatory ocular counterroll) and interaural linear acceleration (leading to compensatory horizontal eye movements). We conjecture that the vestibulo-cerebellum is the major structure for integrating sensory signals to solve this “tilt-translation dilemma” and therefore expect that, in some cerebellar disorders, this mechanism breaks down (aim 2). - The factors determining the long-term prognosis after a peripheral vestibular lesion are still unknown. Our hypothesis is that recovery or central compensation of impaired otolith function is a major factor (aim 3). - This research uses the latest techniques for vestibular (motion simulator, motorized multi-axes turntable) and visual (laser projection system, moving panoramic virtual environment) stimulations as well as for eye movement recordings (dual search coil technique, 3D video-oculography).
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
63465 Three-dimensional kinematical analysis of ocular motor disorders in humans 01.09.2001 Project funding (Div. I-III)
118069 Three-dimensional kinematical analysis of ocular motor disorders in humans 01.10.2007 Project funding (Div. I-III)