A critical examination of vestibular function in motor-impaired learning-disabled children

Anne Shumway-Cook, Fay Horak, F. Owen Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This study examined the role of the vestibular system in balance and coordination problems found in motor-impaired, learning-disabled (LD) children. Vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) and vestibulo-spinal tests (moving platform posturography) were performed on 15 learning disabled and 54 normal children. Twelve LD children had normal VOR scores suggesting normal peripheral vestibular inputs. All 15 LD children had abnormal posturography. Motor-impaired LD children could not appropriately integrate vestibular information with visual and somatosensory inputs for postural orientation. Results suggest that the best discriminator of abnormal sensorimotor function in LD children are posturography trials requiring orientation to gravity despite absent or inaccurate visual and somatosensory cues, rather than traditionally relied on VOR and Romberg tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-30
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Learning disabled
  • Posture
  • Vestibular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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