Otolith Assessment During Postflight Re-adaptation (Otolith) - 04.10.14
ISS Science for Everyone
Science Objectives for Everyone Otolith Assessment During Postflight Re-adaptation (Otolith) assesses otolith (small bones of the inner ear) function in crewmembers preflight and postflight.
Science Results for Everyone
Our eyes and ears like gravity. This investigation found that the reduced sensory input of weightlessness caused changes in the function of otoliths, the small inner-ear bones, in 90 percent of astronauts. These included both typical and atypical forms of spontaneous rapid eye movements, indicating changes in functioning of the body’s vestibular or balance system. Such changes represent a typical adaptation of sensory systems to an altered sensory environment and are specific to individuals in terms of the level, time, duration, and dynamics. This seems to suggest that the pattern of changes is determined by the combined effect of various sensory inputs and their relationship.
Kayser Threde, Munich, , Germany
Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)
ISS Expedition Duration
April 2008 - September 2011
Previous ISS Missions
Otolith first began on ISS Expedition 18.
- Otolith Assessment During Postflight Re-adaptation (Otolith) will assess otolith (small bones of the inner ear) function before and after space flight to this evaluate otolith-ocular response (OOR) and the subjective visual vertical (SVV) to assess unilateral utricle function. Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP) will be recorded in order to assess unilateral saccule function.
- Together this represents a comprehensive examination of all aspects of the otolith system, providing critical information on the validity of the otolith asymmetry hypothesis and on the post flight adaptation of the individual otolith functions.
Kornilova LN, Naumov IA, Makarova SM. Static Torsional Otolith-Cervical-Ocular Reflex After Prolonged Exposure to Weightlessness and a 7-day Immersion. Acta Astronautica. 2011 May - Jun; 68(9-10): 1462-1468.
Clarke AH. Listing's plane and the otolith-mediated gravity vector. Berlin:Progress in Brain Research (2008); 2008.
Clarke AH, Just K, Krzok W, Schonfeld U. Listing's plane and the 3D-VOR in microgravity--the role of the otolith afferences. Journal of Vestibular Research. 2013 January 1; 23(2): 61-70. DOI: 10.3233/VES-130476. PMID: 23788133.
Clarke AH, Kornilova LN. Ocular torsion response to active head-roll movement under one-g and zero-g conditions. Journal of Vestibular Research. 2007; 17(2-3): 99-111. PMID: 18413903.
Ground Based Results Publications
Clarke AH, Haslwanter T, Haslwanter T. The orientation of Listing’s Plane in microgravity. Vision Research. 2007 November; 47(25): 3132-3140. DOI: 10.1016/j.visres.2007.09.001.
The information on this page is provided courtesy of the ESA Erasmus Experiment Archive.