Long-lasting effects of neck muscle vibration and contraction on self-motion perception of vestibular origin

Clinical Neurophysiology : Official Journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology
V E PettorossiM Schieppati


To show that neck proprioceptive input can induce long-term effects on vestibular-dependent self-motion perception. Motion perception was assessed by measuring the subject's error in tracking in the dark the remembered position of a fixed target during whole-body yaw asymmetric rotation of a supporting platform, consisting in a fast rightward half-cycle and a slow leftward half-cycle returning the subject to the initial position. Neck muscles were relaxed or voluntarily contracted, and/or vibrated. Whole-body rotation was administered during or at various intervals after the vibration train. The tracking position error (TPE) at the end of the platform rotation was measured during and after the muscle conditioning maneuvers. Neck input produced immediate and sustained changes in the vestibular perceptual response to whole-body rotation. Vibration of the left sterno-cleido-mastoideus (SCM) or right splenius capitis (SC) or isometric neck muscle effort to rotate the head to the right enhanced the TPE by decreasing the perception of the slow rotation. The reverse effect was observed by activating the contralateral muscle. The effects persisted after the end of SCM conditioning, and slowly vanished within several hours, as tested by...Continue Reading


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