Saccular impact on ocular torsion

Bernd De Graaf*, Jelte E. Bos, Eric Groen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


When someone is tilted laterally, the shear force on the maculae of the utriculus and the sacculus is described by the sine and the cosine of the angle of tilt, respectively. So both the sacculus and the utriculus are stimulated, but in the literature, ocular torsion is normally attributed to utricular function alone (and, thus, seen as a response to y-axis linear acceleration). However, on the base of a series of experiments on a tilt chair, a linear track, human centrifuges, and during parabolic flights, we conclude that the sacculus contributes to ocular torsion as well (there is a response to z-axis linear acceleration). The data suggest that the ratio of the utricular and saccular impact on ocular torsion is 3:1. The utriculus generates conjugate and the sacculus disjunctive torsional eye movements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-330
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Linear acceleration
  • Ocular torsion
  • Sacculus


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