Localization of Vestibular Cortex Using Electrical Cortical Stimulation: A Systematic Literature Review.
The vestibular system plays a fundamental role in body orientation, posture control, and spatial and body motion perception, as well as in gaze and eye movements. We aimed to review the current knowledge regarding the location of the cortical and subcortical areas, implicated in the processing of vestibular stimuli. The search was performed in PubMed and Scopus. We focused on studies reporting on vestibular manifestations after electrical cortical stimulation. A total of 16 studies were finally included. Two main types of vestibular responses were elicited, including vertigo and perception of body movement. The latter could be either rotatory or translational. Electrical stimulation of the temporal structures elicited mainly vertigo, while stimulation of the parietal lobe was associated with perceptions of body movement. Stimulation of the occipital lobe produced vertigo with visual manifestations. There was evidence that the vestibular responses became more robust with increasing current intensity. Low-frequency stimulation proved to be more effective than high-frequency in eliciting vestibular responses. Numerous non-vestibular responses were recorded after stimulation of the vestibular cortex, including somatosensory, viscero-sensory, and emotional manifestations. Newer imaging modalities such as functional MRI (fMRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), SPECT, and near infra-red spectroscopy (NIRS) can provide useful information regarding localization of the vestibular cortex.
Peer reviewed: True
Publication status: Published