Reading while moving: The functional assessment of VOR

Maurizio Versino, Paolo Colagiorgio, Simone Sacco, Silvia Colnaghi, Silvia Quaglieri, Marco Manfrin, Marco Benazzo, Arrigo Moglia, Stefano Ramat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The head impulse test (HIT) is nowadays recognized as the gold standard for clinical testing of the angular vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). By imposing unpredictable, abrupt head rotations in canal pairs' planes it aims at unveiling the dysfunction of the semicircular canal towards which the head is rotated based on Ewald's II law. Functional testing of the VOR aims at assessing the ability of the reflex to stabilize gaze in space and thus allow clear vision during head movements. The HIT device (HITD) approach exploits impulsive head rotations spawning a range of angular accelerations while requiring subjects to identify optotypes briefly displayed on a screen. Here we also recorded eye movements, so that the evaluation of the individual subject is based both on the VOR gain and on the percentage of correct answers with respect to a population of controls. Here we used the HITD to study 14 patients suffering from vestibular neuritis and 7 of those were re-tested after three months. We found that the HITD was able to unveil the ipsilesional deficit and the contralesional impairment, together with the improvement in the follow-up test.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-464
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vestibular Research: Equilibrium and Orientation
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Functional vestibular testing
  • head impulse test
  • semicircular canal function
  • vestibular neuritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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