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The effect of inertial force acceleration on the otolithic membrane

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2 Author(s)
I. Koren ; Israel Air Force, Israel ; C. S. Lessard

The purpose of this study was to examine the response of the otolithic membrane to vertical (Gz-axis) linear acceleration force. By collecting subjective sensation and objective data (vestibulo-spinal reflex response), our study investigated the consequence of exposing these sensory membranes to linear acceleration shear forces. We compared the pilot's response to saccular stimulation to response when shear forces were exerted on the sensing membrane of the utricle. We hypothesize saccular contribution to disorientation illusion and generation of the vestibulo-spinal reflex, with possible contribution to the “Giant Hand” phenomenon. Objective and subjective measures were used for comparison between the influence of +Gx on the utricle and +Gz stimulation on the saccule. We propose the belief that a better under standing of the vestibular function in acceleration conditions will lead to better understanding of flight illusions. Hopefully, this understanding will lead to better pilot education and, in turn, significantly aid in prevention of mishaps due to spatial disorientation

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IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 2 )