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Electrophysiological evidence for vestibular activation of the guinea pig hippocampus

Cuthbert, Peter C.; Gilchrist, Darrin P.; Hicks, Stephen L.; MacDougall, Hamish G.; Curthoys, Ian S.

Auditory and Vestibular Systems

Vestibular information modulates hippocampal activity for spatial processing and place cell firing. However, evidence of a purely vestibular stimulus modulating hippocampal activity is confounded as most studies use stimuli containing somatosensory and visual components. In the present study, high‐frequency electrical stimulation of specific vestibular sensory regions of the right labyrinth in anaesthetized guinea pigs induced an evoked field potential in the hippocampal formation bilaterally with a latency of about 40 ms following stimulation onset. Field potentials localized in the hippocampal formation occurred with stimulus current parameters that were too small to produce eye movements. This provides direct electrophysiological evidence of vestibular input to the hippocampus.

1 Vestibular Research Laboratory, Department of Psychology, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

2 Corresponding Author: Darrin P. Gilchrist

Acknowledgements: This research was supported by a project grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. The authors wish to thank Dr Nicolas Vibert for comments on an earlier version of the manuscript and Dr Ann Burgess for help with preparation of figures.

Received 15 February 2000; accepted 22 February 2000

© 2000 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins