Dynamics and directionality of the vestibulo-collic reflex (VCR) in mice

James F. Baker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The vestibulo-collic reflex (VCR) stabilizes the head in space by excitation of neck muscles that oppose head rotation. Recently, the mouse vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) has been characterized so that genetic manipulations of the vestibular system can be examined. We have characterized the dynamics and directionality of the VCR in mice restrained at the neck so that studies of vestibular system genetics may include comparisons to normal VCR in addition to VOR. Head rotations were measured in darkness with a three-dimensional search coil system during whole body rotations. The VCR in four C57BL/6 mice was present in pitch, roll, and yaw directions with an overall average gain of 0.28. Phase was accurately compensatory to oppose head rotation across a wide range of frequencies from 0.02 Hz to 2.0 Hz. Compensatory head rotations were greatest in the direction opposing the applied stimulus and weak or absent in other directions. Constant velocity rotations about horizontal axes elicited head velocity modulation and bias similar to that observed in the VOR. We conclude that the VCR of mice is similar to that in other mammals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-113
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Head-free
  • Rotation vectors
  • Three-dimensional
  • Velocity estimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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