Differences Between Physical vs. Virtual Evoked Vestibular Responses

Mehrangiz Ashiri, Brian Lithgow, Abdelbaset Suleiman, Brian Blakley, Behzad Mansouri, Zahra Moussavi

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Electrovestibulography (EVestG), a technology purported to measure vestibular activity at the vestibular periphery, was used to compare the vestibular responses to two sensory inputs: (1) back-forward physical tilt (with eyes-open and eyes-closed) and (2) virtual reality replica of the back-forward tilt (eyes-open, physically static). Twenty-seven healthy participants (10 females) were tested. From each of the EVestG recordings, two feature curves: (1) average field potential (FP), and (2) distribution of time intervals between the detected FPs were extracted. For the eyes-closed physical tilt, except for the background segment, the FP response curve was generally wider compared to that evoked during the virtual replica tilt (p < 0.05). Moreover, the eyes-closed physical tilt produced longer time intervals between FP’s compared to the virtual stimulus. For this measure, for the background segment, the eyes closed and open physical tilt responses were significantly different (p < 0.05) in both ears (repeated measure experimental design). The results support: (1) both vestibular and visual inputs evoking a measurably different EVestG response, (2) the differences between physical and virtual vestibular responses are dependent on the eyes being either open or closed, and (3) for the stimuli used, the modulation of vestibular afferent activity was measurably smaller for virtual than physical stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1255
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Afferent
  • Electrovestibulography (EVestG)
  • Virtual reality
  • Visual

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