Two Mechanisms of Habituation to Random-Waveform Electrical Vestibular Stimulation
The ability to move and maintain posture in space is critically dependent on motion and orientation information provided by the vestibular system. When this system delivers noisy or erred information it can, in some cases, be disregarded through habituation. Here we investigate whether multiple mechanisms of habituation act to attenuate vestibulomotor gain due to noise added using random-waveform electric vestibular stimulation (EVS). Forty-five participants completed one of three conditions. Each condition consisted of two four-minute standing periods with stimulation surrounding a one-hour period of either walking with stimulation, walking without stimulation, or sitting quietly. Participants stood and walked on an instrumented treadmill to record horizontal forces at the feet. We quantified habituation by comparing vestibular stimulus-horizontal force gain between conditions. First stimulus exposure caused an 18% decrease in gain during the first forty seconds of standing. Habituation recommenced only when subjects walked with stimulation; resulting in a 38% decrease in gain over sixty-minutes that did not transfer to standing following walking. The disparity in habituation dynamics and absent carry over between standing and walking suggests that at least two habituative mechanisms, one associated with first exposure to the stimulus and another that is task specific, act to attenuate vestibulomotor gain.
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Utah State University
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Dakin, C. (2020). Two Mechanisms of Habituation to Random-Waveform Electrical Vestibular Stimulation. Utah State University. https://doi.org/10.26078/BEQJ-YE69
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