Research Topic

Functional Testing of Vestibular Function

About this Research Topic

The vestibular ocular reflex (VOR) is responsible for stabilizing the eyes in space (known as gaze stability) during head motion. It does this by generating, at the shortest latencies known within the human body (~10ms), an eye rotation of the same magnitude and velocity, but in the opposite direction of the head. This reflex is critical, since even a few degrees per second of image motion on the retina (known as retinal slip) will severely impair vision, resulting in the perception of blurred vision during head motion.

Knowledge of this reflexive function has spawned the development of tests and measures that assay the behavioral relevance of vestibular sensation without measuring the physiologic performance (i.e., measure gaze stability without recording the movement of the eyes). This has led to the development of equipment that is cheaper and can test a wider range of patients (i.e. children) than the traditional laboratory equipment that has focused on the gain-based evaluation of the VOR.

Three examples of such functional vestibular testing approaches over the last 20 years include the dynamic visual acuity test (DVAT), the gaze stabilization test (GST), and the functional head impulse test (fHIT). Other tools take a similar approach to measure posture and gait in patients with vestibular pathophysiology. With the rapid development of affordable wearable sensors, we expect these types of behavioral measures will increase.

The focus of this Research Topic is on the diagnostic accuracy and rehabilitative validity of these novel tests and measures of vestibular behavior. We seek manuscripts on the use of functional testing in specific populations of patients, on the evaluation of functional testing in comparison with objective methods, in the diagnosis and assessment of recovery and/or effects of rehabilitation, as well as measures of subjective patient assessment of their own disabilities. We are particularly interested in new functional testing approaches and measures that have rehabilitation applications.


Keywords: VOR, Gaze stabilization, Functional Head Impulse Test, Dynamic Visual Acuity


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The vestibular ocular reflex (VOR) is responsible for stabilizing the eyes in space (known as gaze stability) during head motion. It does this by generating, at the shortest latencies known within the human body (~10ms), an eye rotation of the same magnitude and velocity, but in the opposite direction of the head. This reflex is critical, since even a few degrees per second of image motion on the retina (known as retinal slip) will severely impair vision, resulting in the perception of blurred vision during head motion.

Knowledge of this reflexive function has spawned the development of tests and measures that assay the behavioral relevance of vestibular sensation without measuring the physiologic performance (i.e., measure gaze stability without recording the movement of the eyes). This has led to the development of equipment that is cheaper and can test a wider range of patients (i.e. children) than the traditional laboratory equipment that has focused on the gain-based evaluation of the VOR.

Three examples of such functional vestibular testing approaches over the last 20 years include the dynamic visual acuity test (DVAT), the gaze stabilization test (GST), and the functional head impulse test (fHIT). Other tools take a similar approach to measure posture and gait in patients with vestibular pathophysiology. With the rapid development of affordable wearable sensors, we expect these types of behavioral measures will increase.

The focus of this Research Topic is on the diagnostic accuracy and rehabilitative validity of these novel tests and measures of vestibular behavior. We seek manuscripts on the use of functional testing in specific populations of patients, on the evaluation of functional testing in comparison with objective methods, in the diagnosis and assessment of recovery and/or effects of rehabilitation, as well as measures of subjective patient assessment of their own disabilities. We are particularly interested in new functional testing approaches and measures that have rehabilitation applications.


Keywords: VOR, Gaze stabilization, Functional Head Impulse Test, Dynamic Visual Acuity


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

01 March 2018 Abstract
14 September 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

01 March 2018 Abstract
14 September 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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