Vestibular-Evoked Cerebral Potentials

  • Nakul Estelle
  • Bartolomei Fabrice
  • Lopez Christophe

  • Vestibular-evoked potentials
  • EEG
  • Vestibular cortex
  • Neuro-otology
  • Vestibular system
  • Vestibular-evoked potentials
  • Vestibular-evoked potentials


The human vestibular cortex has mostly been approached using functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography combined with artificial stimulation of the vestibular receptors or nerve. Few studies have used electroencephalography and benefited from its high temporal resolution to describe the spatiotemporal dynamics of vestibular information processing from the first milliseconds following vestibular stimulation. Evoked potentials (EPs) are largely used to describe neural processing of other sensory signals, but they remain poorly developed and standardized in vestibular neuroscience and neuro-otology. Yet, vestibular EPs of brainstem, cerebellar, and cortical origin have been reported as early as the 1960s. This review article summarizes and compares results from studies that have used a large range of vestibular stimulation, including natural vestibular stimulation on rotating chairs and motion platforms, as well as artificial vestibular stimulation (e.g., sounds, impulsive acceleration stimulation, galvanic stimulation). These studies identified vestibular EPs with short latency (<20 ms), middle latency (from 20 to 50 ms), and late latency (>50 ms). Analysis of the generators (source analysis) of these responses offers new insights into the neuroimaging of the vestibular system. Generators were consistently found in the parieto-insular and temporo-parietal junction-the core of the vestibular cortex-as well as in the prefrontal and frontal areas, superior parietal, and temporal areas. We discuss the relevance of vestibular EPs for basic research and clinical neuroscience and highlight their limitations.