Real-time communication of head velocity and acceleration for an externally mounted vestibular prosthesis.

Research paper by James O JO Phillips, Steven M SM Bierer, Leo L Ling, Kaibao K Nie, Jay T JT Rubinstein

Indexed on: 19 Jan '12Published on: 19 Jan '12Published in: Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual Conference


Loss of vestibular function results in imbalance, disorientation, and oscillopsia. Several groups have designed and constructed implantable devices to restore vestibular function through electrical stimulation of the vestibular nerve. We have designed a two-part device in which the head motion sensing and signal processing elements are externally mounted to the head, and are coupled through an inductive link to a receiver stimulator that is based on a cochlear implant. The implanted electrode arrays are designed to preserve rotational sensitivity in the implanted ear. We have tested the device in rhesus monkeys by rotating the animals in the plane of the implanted canals, and then using head velocity and acceleration signals to drive electrical stimulation of the vestibular system. Combined electrical and rotational stimulation results in a summation of responses, so that one can control the modulation of eye velocity induced by sinusoidal yaw rotation.