Diagram of otoliths and otolithic membrane in inner ear

A new mouse model that determines the effects of a unilateral vestibular prosthesis on vestibular plasticity.

Much like a cochlear implant restores auditory function, a vestibular prosthesis restores balance function. It is not clear whether the limited results from vestibular prostheses is due to the device not stimulating one component (the otoliths) of the vestibular system essential for self-repair. We will test mutant mice that lack otoliths to determine the importance of stimulating the otoliths in restoring function. This work will shape the future direction of prosthesis development.