Labyrinth traced from Plate XXXIII in Retvius (1884). Das Gehörorgan der Wirbelthiere. Morphologisch-histologische Studien. Band II: Das Gehörorgan der Reptilien, der Vögel und der Säugethiere (The auditory organ of the vertebrates. Morphological-histological studies. Volume II: The auditory organ of reptiles, birds and mammals). Eye traced from Abb. 18 in Frenzel, Minnigerode, Stenger (1982) Spontan-Und Provokations Nystagmus (Spontaneous and provocation nystagmus). Springer.
Stability with flexibility is a requirement for life.
To maintain our upright posture and steady vision, the brain must constantly balance competing activities, such as stillness and movement. Normally, the vestibular part of the inner ear constantly supports this equilibrium. However, dysfunction within the inner ear can produce unwanted movement and disequilibrium, e.g vertigo and nausea. Nevertheless, after each episode stillness and equilibrium is restored over time. Dysfunction in the regulation of inner ear fluids may be related to recurrent disequilibrium episodes in Meniere’s disease, but how the ears and brain restore equilibrium in between remains unknown.
This project seeks to examine the fundamental relationship between fluid dysfunction and roles the ear and brain each play in maintaining function and restoring equilibrium. After using MRI techniques to quantify the severity of fluid volume changes, vestibular function to thermal, rotatory, vibration, and magnetic test techniques will be compared to determine the effect on each test. Short-term disequilibrium will then be induced by rotatory and magnetic vestibular stimulation to study the rate of restoration.