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Keywords:

  • Vestibular nuclei;
  • Brain stem

Abstract: The vestibular nerve sends signals to the brain that code the movement and position of the head in space. These signals are used for a variety of functions, including the control of reflex and voluntary movements and the construction of a sense of self-motion. In order to carry out these functions, sensory vestibular signals need to be transformed in a variety of ways. Transformations are thought to occur at an early stage of sensory processing in the brain, and in many cases are apparent in the responses of neurons in the vestibular nuclei that receive direct inputs from the vestibular nerve. Several specific examples of sensory transformation in the vestibular nuclei are presented, and current hypotheses about the mechanisms that are used to produce the transformations are discussed.