Vestibular-multisensory interactions are essential for self-motion, navigation and postural stability. Despite evidence suggesting shared brain areas between vestibular and somatosensory inputs, no study has yet investigated whether somatosensory information influences vestibular perception. Here, we used signal detection methods to identify whether somatosensory stimulation might interact with vestibular events in a vestibular detection task. Participants were instructed to detect near-threshold vestibular roll-rotation sensations delivered by galvanic vestibular stimulation in one-half of experimental trials. A vibrotactile signal occurred to the index fingers of both hands in half of the trials, independent of vestibular signals. We found that vibrotactile somatosensory stimulation decreased perceptual vestibular sensitivity. The results are compatible with a gain regulation mechanism between vestibular and somatosensory modalities.
Experimental Brain Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 22, 2018
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