Short latency compound action potentials from mammalian gravity receptor organs

Timothy A. Jones, Sherri M. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Gravity receptor function was characterized in four mammalian species using far-field vestibular evoked potentials (VsEPs). VsEPs are compound action potentials of the vestibular nerve and central relays that are elicited by linear acceleration ramps applied to the cranium. Rats, mice, guinea pigs, and gerbils were studied. In all species, response onset occurred within 1.5 ms of the stimulus onset. Responses persisted during intense (116 dBSPL) wide-band (50 to 50 000 Hz) forward masking, whereas auditory responses to intense clicks (112 dBpeSPL) were eliminated under the same conditions. VsEPs remained after cochlear extirpation but were eliminated following bilateral labyrinthectomy. Responses included a series of positive and negative peaks that occurred within 8 ms of stimulus onset (range of means at +6 dBre: 1.0 g/ms: P1=908 to 1062 μs, N1=1342 to 1475 μs, P2=1632 to 1952 μs, N2=2038 to 2387 μs). Mean response amplitudes at +6 dBre: 1.0 g/ms ranged from 0.14 to 0.99 μV. VsEP input/output functions revealed latency slopes that varied across peaks and species ranging from -19 to -51 μs/dB. Amplitude-intensity slopes also varied ranging from 0.04 to 0.08 μV/dB for rats and mice. Latency values were comparable to those of birds although amplitudes were substantially smaller in mammals. VsEP threshold values were considerably higher in mammals compared to birds and ranged from -8.1 to -10.5 dBre 1.0 g/ms across species. These results support the hypothesis that mammalian gravity receptors are less sensitive to dynamic stimuli than are those of birds. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Gerbil
  • Guinea pig
  • Linear acceleration
  • Mouse
  • Otolith
  • Rat
  • Vestibular
  • Vestibular evoked potential
  • VsEP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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