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Semicircular canal contribution to the perception of roll tilt during gondola centrifugation
Swedish Defence Research Agency.
Swedish Defence Research Agency.
2005 (English)In: Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, ISSN 0095-6562, Vol. 76, no 10, 940-946 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Spatial disorientation is an important problem in aviation. The mechanisms behind the sensation of roll tilt during coordinated turns are not well known. The present study aimed at elucidating what kind of semicircular canal information might cause tilts of the subjective horizontal during gondola centrifugation.

METHODS: The subjective visual horizontal (SVH) was measured by means of an adjustable visual line in darkness. Subjects (n = 8) underwent four centrifuge runs (2 G, 5 min), sitting in different positions, i.e., heading forwards, backwards, centripetally, and centrifugally. The roll position of the gondola (60 degrees at 2 G) was controlled so that the subject was always upright with respect to the resultant gravitoinertial force vector. Thus, the semicircular-canal stimulus components in yaw, pitch, and roll were varied to some extent independently of each other.

RESULTS: For the forward position the SVH was substantially tilted in a direction compensatory with respect to the inclination of the gondola. For the backward position there was also a tendency to a compensatory SVH tilt. In all subjects the magnitude of tilt was larger for the forward position than for the backward. The group means were +20.9 +/- 8.4 degrees and -6.9 +/- 10.5 degrees (positive sign designates a clockwise deviation of the SVH), p < 0.001, n = 8. There were no significant SVH tilts for the centripetal (+6.4 +/- 10.7 degrees) and centrifugal (+2.1 +/- 4.8 degrees) positions. The effects of deceleration of the centrifuge were very small for all positions.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that the substantial SVH tilt after acceleration heading forwards is not directly related to any single component of semicircular canal stimulation but depends on the ability of the brain to expediently process complex stimulus patterns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 76, no 10, 940-946 p.
Keyword [en]
Vestibular, otolithic, spatial orientation, spatial disorientation, gravity, hypergravity, subjective horizontal, subjective vertical
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-44588ISI: 000232347500005PubMedID: 16235877OAI: diva2:451524
QC 20111102Available from: 2011-10-26 Created: 2011-10-25 Last updated: 2011-11-02Bibliographically approved

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