Age-related changes in human vestibulo-ocular reflexes: sinusoidal rotation and caloric tests

R. J. Peterka, F. O. Black, M. B. Schoenhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


The dynamic response properties of horizontal vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) were characterized in 216 human subjects ranging in age from 7 to 81 y. The effects of aging on VOR dynamics and parameter distributions that describe VOR responses to caloric and to sinusoidal rotational timuli were determined in a putatively normal population. Caloric test parameters showed no consistent trend with age. Rotation test parameters showed declining response amplitude and slightly less compensatory response phase with increasing age. The magnitudes of these changes were not large relative to the variability within the population. The age-related trends in VOR were not consistent with the anatomic changes in the periphery reported by others that showed an increasing rate of peripheral hair cell and nerve fiber loss in subjects over 55 y. The poor correlation between physiological and anatomical data suggest that adaptive mechanisms in the central nervous system are important in maintaining the VOR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-59
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Vestibular Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • eye movements
  • rotation testing
  • vestibular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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