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Vision(40%),Vestibular(30%), Proprioception(30%)

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Old 06-06-2005, 09:05 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chester Springs, PA, USA
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Subs30 HB UserSubs30 HB User
Cool Vision(40%),Vestibular(30%), Proprioception(30%)

If you go to the various web sites on vestibular problems---at most of the "Balance Centers" of excellence---(Northwestern Univ/Univ of Penn/John Hopkins/UCLA....etc)you run across---a discussion on a somatic sense called:


(somatic senses are nervous system functions that collect sensory information from the body but are not one of the special senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch, or smell)

Typically, three somatic senses are described; pain, thermoreceptivity, and mechanoreceptivity.

The latter of which includes "tactile" and "position" sense.

Most of these Balance Centers agree that there are THREE inputs to the "Brain's" balance center----and under normal circumstances they provide that information as follows:

--Vision 40%

--Vestibular 30%

--Proprioception 30%

The discussions center on what happens when the vestibular signal goes "Nutso" because of an inner ear problem, BPPV, Lab, VN, etc.....

While most people have a fairly good grasp on the first two(vision & vestibular) that last one(Proprioception)---is kind of elusive.

As you can see from the short(:-} description below---and if you think about it----when the vestibular system gets "hosed up" ---among other things---it screws up---the brain's ability to keep aware of equilibrium and any changes to it---and that throws a "heavy load" on the Proprioception System---actually throws it off-stride---which in turn----causes a lot of the problems(we post about) with the bodies "posture and movement and control" of the coordinated action of more than 650 muscles

---This is also the system that develops the "Stored Movement Templates"(i.e., long term memory) I talked about in another post---it is immanently involved in developing them---through repetitive movements(i.e, practice makes perfect).

Since the slightest movement or even the intention to move initiates widespread activity in muscles throughout the body(through the Proprioception System) and since every movement has to be correct for force, speed and position---any problems can cause a lot of problems through out the body, neck, eye, stiff/strained muscles---so it is worth(I think) knowing how this "Proprioception System" which provides 30% works/influences our problem(s).


Proprioception is now generally classified as one of the somatic senses — nervous system functions that collect sensory information from the body but are not one of the special senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch, or smell. Typically, three somatic senses are described: pain, thermoreceptivity, and mechanoreceptivity, the latter of which includes tactile and position sense.

Proprioception relates primarily to the position sense and encompasses two aspects of it: static and dynamic. Static sense provides the brain with feedback about the orientation of one body part to another. It is this static sense that allows us, for instance, to reach behind our backs and clasp our hands together or to touch our index finger to our nose while keeping our eyes closed. The dynamic sense gives the brain feedback about the rate and direction of the body’s movement. We see this sense in action when we slip but the brain automatically rights us without our falling.

Thus, proprioception is actually a system of neuromuscular processes. The proprioceptive system involves (1) incoming (afferent) signals, (2) outgoing (efferent) signals, and (3) interactions between many parts of the brain. Proprioceptive receptors in the skeletal muscles (spindle cells) and on the surfaces of tendons (Golgi tendon apparatus) provide constant feedback on the positions of body segments and on the actions of muscles. Awareness of limb position and movement is also gained through the stimulation of receptors in the joints.

The brain keeps aware of equilibrium changes through the inner ear mechanisms (vestibular system), which enable the perception of gravity. The information furnished by the vestibular system is also essential for coordinating the position of the head and the movement of the eyes. There are two sets of end organs in the inner ear, or labyrinth: the semicircular canals, which respond to rotational movements (angular acceleration); and the utricle and saccule within the vestibule, which respond to changes in the position of the head with respect to gravity (linear acceleration). Functionally these organs are closely related to the cerebellum and to the reflex centers of the spinal cord and brain stem that govern the movements of the eyes, neck, and limbs.

Posture and movement are made possible by the coordinated action of more than 650 muscles. The slightest movement or even the intention to move initiates widespread activity in muscles throughout the body, and every movement has to be correct for force, speed, and position. These aspects of movement are governed by the proprioceptive system.".......

Lot going on---with balance---when working---it more or less is in "AUTO"---but when something goes wrong---auto is out the window---and the brain's equlibrum center is demanding an almost constant processing power---for something---that it(brain) had relegated to auto(i.e., had learned and committed to long term memory)----.....

Want to see it in action:

First: Put four "X's" in two rowes of ten (side by side--twenty total) with each group of four "X's" having a different color, i.e., first row of four= "blue", second row or four= "orange" etc....(Blue, Orange, Yellow, Black, Green, White--vary their occurance) to form a table.

----Now------Say the colors of the Xs in the table out loud and as quickly as possible.

Second: Then in create another table and list the name of the colors as a word i.e., write "blue" then the next word i.e., red, then yellow ---but color the "word blue" red and the "word red" that each of the named colors is not colored the same as it's name.

---Now---name the colors of the words you listed in the two columns as quickly as you can Remember, do not read the words themselves but rather call out the colors of type you see....

Many people take longer to complete the second test because of what is known as the "Stroop effect" (look it up)

---what you have just demonstrated is how two psychological processes running in parallel collide with each other---i.e., your attention resources---are strained---since you are trying to combine a routine, automated task (reading has been so well learned that it runs automatically) with one that demands conscious control---it's called interference or the "Stroop effect"

Balance---a learned task that normally runs automatically---with little conscious effort---now must be consciously controlled---with an inner ear injury---wallah----welcome to the "Stroop effect"

---more then you ever wanted to know---certainly more then I ever did!!!!

What a piece of work this junk is.........

Last edited by Subs30; 06-06-2005 at 09:40 AM.

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Old 06-06-2005, 11:19 AM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 402
firechick HB User
Re: Vision(40%),Vestibular(30%), Proprioception(30%)

"What a piece of work this junk is" is right on, but doesn't your post explain the whole foggy brain feelings we get? makes sense to me. Your explanation of how our brain has to work overtime to function on proprioception is like the brain has to run in manual instead of in automatic.
I don't know this for fact, but think that is why doing balance VRT helps me so much as it is really testing the propprioception facilities, unlike the vision VRT which helps to work through the vision portion. Makes me want to work harder on that so if this crap ever strikes again, I'll be working with a higher level of balance than you think that would work??? Your previous post on the balance tests for pilots was interesting in that a normal balance function was to stand on one leg, arms crossed with eyes closed for 10sec, if we can go longer, does that mean we have less to lose if or when this rolls around again???

Old 06-06-2005, 05:55 PM   #3
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Location: Chester Springs, PA, USA
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Subs30 HB UserSubs30 HB User
Cool Re: Vision(40%),Vestibular(30%), Proprioception(30%)

Hi Firechick

Hanging in there I see---good on ya!!

...."if we can go longer, does that mean we have less to lose if or when this rolls around again???".....

Not really---just means your well along or at full compensation now---the data shows if it(BPPV) returns---it usually is not as severe---not sure why---nor are they(medical types)

..."doesn't your post explain the whole foggy brain feelings we get?"...

That is the current medical opine---tend to agree---but no one knows for sure---and won't until---they have completely documented how the brain works---their working on it---but still have a ways to go....

..."do you think that would work???"...

Well like you---all of use hope it never shows up again---if it does---we will know exactly what is happening and why---and having adapted--before---will prob---be in a better position to overcome it(fully compensate) on the second go around----however, for some----that might not be the cases---but the data shows for most---there is sort of a point in time---were---a "burn out" function takes over---and dampens---the sensitivity---of the injured vestibular system....

But the key is to "decode" the exact workings of the brain....

Old 06-07-2005, 07:28 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 402
firechick HB User
Re: Vision(40%),Vestibular(30%), Proprioception(30%)

Thanks Subs,
Yes I am doing very well, haven't had any symptoms for a few weeks which is a new record for me. I was comforted by the quote "the data shows if it(BPPV) returns---it usually is not as severe---not sure why---nor are they(medical types)". Perhaps this is partially psychological as when it occurs again we know what we are up against and will do what is necessary right away instead of the intial bewilderment on first having these symptoms.
I am convinced that our reaction to our symptoms has more to do with a faster recovery than anything. When I first had this stuff it absolutely consumed me. When I spoke to people it was one of the first topics of any conversation, it owned me and became who I was. On looking back I let this thing take over my self and gave it power. But by researching, finding this board and all of the information, a lot of which was thanks to you and all of your research, I was better able to seperate myself from my symptoms and began to do something about it. If we say we are sick, we will act sick, if we say we are depressed, we will act depressed....but, if we say we are healing, and doing something about it, (even if that is only reading and researching) or doing our VRT, we will heal. It is always easier said than done, and now I am feeling better can get more insight than when I was caught up in the battle. I only hope that if this thing returns I can maintain a positive approach and fight my way out instead of letting it consume me again. The past four years has been quite a ride, I have learned so much and one day, according to my Buddist friend, will be thankful for this experience, (not quite there yet!)
Thanks again subs for all of your valuable information.

Old 06-07-2005, 07:34 AM   #5
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 617
Howie2 HB User
Re: Vision(40%),Vestibular(30%), Proprioception(30%)


That explanation you just gave about your experience is the problem I think we all have do to the large amounts of question marks surrounding the illness.
However it did give me some encouragement to continue to battle with my VRT. Stress is as vital as the condition itself


Old 06-08-2005, 04:28 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Wales
Posts: 222
dogologist HB User
Re: Vision(40%),Vestibular(30%), Proprioception(30%)

That's such a useful post, Subs - thank you! I'm a psychology graduate but I'd never really thought of all this in terms of the Stroop effect before. Makes perfect sense, though. I might set up some Stroop tests for my other half to give him a rough idea of what the cognitive side of this feels like!!

Ann xx

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