The Influence of GVS on Mental Transformation

2016-12-02 16:38:22 | BioPortfolio


Corroboratory behavioral evidence showed interaction effects between vestibular stimulation and egocentric transformation.

The investigators here examine in healthy participants, whether there are shared brain mechanisms underlying galvanic vestibular stimulation, illusory self-motion and egocentric transformation, as well as their interaction.

It is hypothesized that the GVS induced illusory self-motion dampens the ability to perform egocentric mental transformation.


Theories of embodied mental rotation suggest overlapping processes between real body and egocentric mental transformations. Corroboratory behavioral evidence showed interaction effects between vestibular stimulation and egocentric transformation. Yet, no study so far has investigated which cortical areas are involved in vestibular processing and/or illusory self-motion and mental transformation tasks within the same participants. This however seems crucial, as important individual differences exist for both mental transformation abilities as well as in subjective perception of artificial vestibular stimulation.

The primary objective is to reveal which brain area(s) are involved in the interaction of illusory self-motion (as induced by galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS)) and egocentric mental transformation, as compared to no illusory self-motion or object-based mental transformation. It is hypothesized that the GVS induced illusory self-motion dampens the ability to perform egocentric mental transformation more than object-based mental transformation.

As previous behavioral studies on such an interaction were always done in a sitting position, a secondary objective is to first replicate previous behavioral mental rotation studies that used GVS, in the Magnetic Resonance (MR) -scanner comparable setting. Moreover, as no brain imaging study so far has investigated subjective illusory motion experience induced by GVS, illusory self-motion will be measured and included in the statistical model to find specific brain regions modulating the illusory self-motion perception.

Study Design

Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Basic Science


Focus of Study: Higher Cognition and the Vestibular System


Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation


Not yet recruiting


University of Zurich

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2016-12-02T16:38:22-0500

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The vestibular part of the 8th cranial nerve (VESTIBULOCOCHLEAR NERVE). The vestibular nerve fibers arise from neurons of Scarpa's ganglion and project peripherally to vestibular hair cells and centrally to the VESTIBULAR NUCLEI of the BRAIN STEM. These fibers mediate the sense of balance and head position.

Vestibular nucleus lying immediately superior to the inferior vestibular nucleus and composed of large multipolar nerve cells. Its upper end becomes continuous with the superior vestibular nucleus. (From Dorland, 28th ed)

Pathological processes of the VESTIBULAR LABYRINTH which contains part of the balancing apparatus. Patients with vestibular diseases show instability and are at risk of frequent falls.

The 8th cranial nerve. The vestibulocochlear nerve has a cochlear part (COCHLEAR NERVE) which is concerned with hearing and a vestibular part (VESTIBULAR NERVE) which mediates the sense of balance and head position. The fibers of the cochlear nerve originate from neurons of the SPIRAL GANGLION and project to the cochlear nuclei (COCHLEAR NUCLEUS). The fibers of the vestibular nerve arise from neurons of Scarpa's ganglion and project to the VESTIBULAR NUCLEI.

The four cellular masses in the floor of the fourth ventricle giving rise to a widely dispersed special sensory system. Included is the superior, medial, inferior, and LATERAL VESTIBULAR NUCLEUS. (From Dorland, 27th ed)

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