In order to maintain balance, the brain receives and processes input from multiple sensory systems including the visual, vestibular, and somatosensory systems. The information from these systems is sent to the brain where the information is then combined, organized and interpreted. This results in the output of reflexes (vestibulo-ocular reflex [VOR] and vestibulospinal reflex [VSR]). The VOR and the VSR work together with other motor systems to control gaze stability and control whole body equilibrium. Impairment in any of these sensory systems can result in dizziness, loss of balance, and visual instability. While the contributions of the visual, vestibular, and somatosensory systems on visual stability have been well described in the literature, contribution of cervical spine somatosensation on visual stability is not fully understood. The overall aim of the present work was to investigate whether impaired somatosensory information from the cervical spine, caused by neck muscle fatigue, directly influences dynamic visual stability in healthy young and healthy older participants. Results indicated that healthy young and healthy older participants who were fatigued had significantly poorer Dynamic Visual Acuity (DVA) than those who were not fatigued (P<.05). In Conclusion, our research suggests that when assessing vestibular function in patients complaining of dizziness and/or visual disturbance with a history of neck trauma, one may speculate that VOR dysfunction could have a cervical origin due to somatosenory disturbance, which may lead to visual disturbances and dizziness.
School of Allied Health Professions
Petrofsky, Jerrold S.
Berk, Lee S.
Laymon, Michael S.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Fatigue; Fatigue - Physiopathology;
Subject - Local
Vestibular Systems; Somatosensory Systems; Visual Systems; Brain; Vestibulo-ocular Reflex; Fatigue; Neck Muscle Fatigue
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Al Saif, Amer, "Effects of Neck Muscle Fatigue on the Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex" (2011). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 15.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses & Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives