R H Schor

The Rockefeller University, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (37)90.48 Total impact

  • J. Kasper, R. H. Schor, V. J. Wilson
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    ABSTRACT: In decerebrate cats we used response dynamics to classify neurons in Deiters' nucleus and the rostral descending nucleus as receiving input from vertical canals, otolith organs (utricle) or canal + otolith. Many of these neurons, particularly those with convergent vestibular input (canal + otolith, canal + canal) and preferred stimulus directions near roll, also received neck input. Neck and vestibular response vectors tended to point in opposite directions. Neck and vestibular response dynamics were often well matched, so that combined stimuli (head rotation) produced no response over a wide frequency range. In some cases differing dynamics produced an output that appeared to code head position.
    Acta Oto-Laryngologica 07/2009; 108(s468):137-139. · 0.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The rostral fastigial nucleus (RFN) of the cerebellum is thought to play an important role in postural control, and recent studies in conscious nonhuman primates suggest that this region also participates in the sensory processing required to compute body motion in space. The goal of the present study was to examine the dynamic and spatial responses to sinusoidal rotations in vertical planes of RFN neurons in conscious cats, and determine if they are similar to responses reported for monkeys. Approximately half of the RFN neurons examined were classified as graviceptive, since their firing was synchronized with stimulus position and the gain of their responses was relatively unaffected by the frequency of the tilts. The large majority (80%) of graviceptive RFN neurons were activated by pitch rotations. Most of the remaining RFN units exhibited responses to vertical oscillations that encoded stimulus velocity, and approximately 50% of these velocity units had a response vector orientation aligned near the plane of a single vertical semicircular canal. Unlike in primates, few feline RFN neurons had responses to vertical rotations that suggested integration of graviceptive (otolith) and velocity (vertical semicircular canal) signals. These data indicate that the physiological role of the RFN may differ between primates and lower mammals. The RFN in rats and cats in known to be involved in adjusting blood pressure and breathing during postural alterations in the transverse (pitch) plane. The relatively simple responses of many RFN neurons in cats are appropriate for triggering such compensatory autonomic responses.
    Neuroscience 06/2008; 155(1):317-25. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although many previous experiments have considered the responses of vestibular nucleus neurons to rotations and translations of the head, little data are available regarding cells in the caudalmost portions of the vestibular nuclei (CVN), which mediate vestibulo-autonomic responses among other functions. This study examined the responses of CVN neurons of conscious cats to rotations in vertical planes, both before and after a bilateral vestibular neurectomy. None of the units included in the data sample had eye movement-related activity. In labyrinth-intact animals, some CVN neurons (22%) exhibited graviceptive responses consistent with inputs from otolith organs, but most (55%) had dynamic responses with phases synchronized with stimulus velocity. Furthermore, the large majority of CVN neurons had response vector orientations that were aligned either near the roll or vertical canal planes, and only 18% of cells were preferentially activated by pitch rotations. Sustained head-up rotations of the body provide challenges to the cardiovascular system and breathing, and thus the response dynamics of the large majority of CVN neurons were dissimilar to those of posturally-related autonomic reflexes. These data suggest that vestibular influences on autonomic control mediated by the CVN are more complex than previously envisioned, and likely involve considerable processing and integration of signals by brainstem regions involved in cardiovascular and respiratory regulation. Following a bilateral vestibular neurectomy, CVN neurons regained spontaneous activity within 24 h, and a very few neurons (<10%) responded to vertical tilts <15 degrees in amplitude. These findings indicate that nonlabyrinthine inputs are likely important in sustaining the activity of CVN neurons; thus, these inputs may play a role in functional recovery following peripheral vestibular lesions.
    Experimental Brain Research 06/2008; 188(2):175-86. · 2.17 Impact Factor
  • V J Wilson, R H Schor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this review is to assess the role of short-latency pathways in the vestibulocollic reflex (VCR). First the current knowledge about the disynaptic and trisynaptic pathways linking semicircular canal and otolith afferents with cat neck motoneurons is summarized. We then discuss whether these pathways are sufficient or necessary to produce the responses observed in neck muscles by natural vestibular stimulation and conclude that they are neither. Finally, alternate pathways are considered, most likely involving reticulospinal fibers, which are an important part of the neural substrate of the VCR.
    Experimental Brain Research 01/2000; 129(4):483-93. · 2.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our goal was to study potential substrates for cortical modulation of vestibular reflexes in the cat. In initial experiments, injections of wheat-germ-agglutinate-horseradish-peroxidase into Deiters' nucleus and the rostral descending nucleus revealed bilateral colonies of retrogradely filled neurons in cortical areas 6, 2, and 3a (about 60 cells per colony). In cats anesthetized with chloralose-urethane, we stimulated areas 2 and 3a with trains of pulses while recording from ipsilateral vestibular-nucleus neurons, which were characterized by their responses to sinusoidal tilts and tested for the presence of antidromic responses to stimulation of the upper cervical cord. A majority of the neurons was affected by cortical stimulation, showing either facilitation, inhibition, or a mixture of the two. Stimulation in area 2 was more effective than stimulation in area 3a. Despite the anatomic presence of direct cortico-vestibular projections, properties of facilitation and inhibition suggest that both were evoked by polysynaptic pathways. Cortical effects were broadly distributed to vestibular neurons without regard to responses of these neurons to sinusoidal tilts. There was no significant difference between effects on lateral and medial vestibulospinal tract neurons, but, as a group, vestibulospinal neurons were much more likely to be affected by cortical stimulation than neurons not antidromically activated from the C2 segment. We conclude that, by their influence on vestibulospinal neurons, neurons in cortical areas 2 and 3a should be able to modulate, in behaving animals, vestibular reflexes acting on the neck and limbs.
    Experimental Brain Research 04/1999; 125(1):1-13. · 2.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Responses to linear accelerations in the earth-horizontal plane (typically provoked by tilts of the head or body) are characterized by a stimulus direction that produces the maximal excitation. Although changes in cardiovascular, sympathetic, and respiratory outflow are maximized during pitch, no collection of central vestibular neurons had been identified where pitch responses predominate. In the present study, response properties of neurons in the medial vestibular nucleus were examined in decerebrate cats placed on a turntable. Activation of otolith afferents was provided by constant velocity rotation with the turntable axis tilted 5 degrees from the vertical. Responsive neurons exhibited a sinusoidal modulation in their firing rate; the optimal excitatory stimulus direction was derived from responses to clockwise and counterclockwise rotations. Many of these neurons were also tested for input from horizontal semicircular canals using 0.5 Hz sinusoidal rotation about an earth-vertical axis. Of 22 tilt-sensitive neurons in the medial vestibular nucleus whose optimal stimulus direction was determined, 9 were best stimulated by pitch, 10 by stimuli in one of the two vertical semicircular canal planes, and 3 by roll. Of the 33 neurons in this nucleus tested for possible convergent inputs from the otolith organs and the horizontal semicircular canals, 8 responded to both the constant velocity (otolith) stimulus and to the sinusoidal rotation, 7 appeared to receive otolith, but not horizontal canal, input, while 18 had a canal, but no otolith, response. Thus, besides serving as a relay for horizontal canal signals, the medial vestibular nucleus may also be an important relay for information about orientation within the sagittal (pitch) plane.
    Journal of Vestibular Research 01/1998; 8(1):107-16. · 1.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 1. In decerebrate cats with intact cerebellums, we studied the responses of neurons in the caudal areas of the vestibular nuclei to natural vestibular stimulation in vertical planes and to neck rotation. The activity of most neurons was recorded in the caudal half of the descending nucleus. 2. One goal of our experiments was to compare the dynamic and spatial properties of responses to sinusoidal vestibular stimulation with those seen in previous experiments in which the caudal cerebellar vermis, including the nodulus and uvula, was removed. This part of the cerebellum receives vestibular input and projects to the caudal areas of the vestibular nuclei, suggesting that it could influence responses to stimulation of the labyrinth. 3. As in our previous experiments, most neurons could be classified as receiving predominant input either from the otoliths or from one vertical semicircular canal. When mean gain and phase and response vector orientations were compared, there were no obvious differences between the behavior of neurons in the partially decerebellate preparation and the one with the cerebellum intact, demonstrating that in the decerebrate cat the nodulus and uvula have little or no influence on the processing of vertical vestibular input in this region of the vestibular nuclei. 4. Only 23 of 74 (31%) of neurons tested responded to neck rotation. This contrasts with the much larger fractions that respond to this stimulus in Deiters' nucleus and in the rostral descending nucleus. We also recorded from neurons near the vestibular nuclei, mainly in the external cuneate nucleus. All of them (9 of 9) responded to neck rotation. 5. Responses to neck rotation also differed in their dynamics from those found more rostrally in the vestibular nuclei. Dynamics of more rostral neurons resemble those of neck muscle spindles, as do those of external cuneate neurons. The dynamics of caudal vestibular neurons, on the other hand, have a steeper gain slope and more advanced phases than do those of neurons in the more rostral vestibular nuclei. This suggests the possibility of involvement of additional receptors in the production of these responses. 6. In the more rostral vestibular nuclei, responses to vestibular and neck rotation are most often antagonistic, so that head rotation results in little or no response. This is not the case in the caudal areas of the vestibular nuclei, where less than half the neurons tested displayed antagonistic behavior. Further experiments are required to put the neck projection to the caudal vestibular nuclei in a functional context.
    Journal of Neurophysiology 04/1996; 75(3):1242-9. · 3.04 Impact Factor
  • R H Schor, B J Yates
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines the response of neurons in the medullary reticular formation of the decerebrate cat to sinusoidal yaw rotations in the plane of the horizontal semicircular canals. Responsive neurons that could be antidromically activated from the spinal cord appeared to be less sensitive to the rotary stimulus than the rest of the population or responsive neurons. Most neurons had response dynamics similar to those of semicircular canal afferents.
    Journal of Vestibular Research 01/1995; 5(3):223-8. · 1.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The spontaneous activity of 40 otolith afferents and 44 canal afferents was recorded in 4 alert, intact squirrel monkeys. Polarization vectors and response properties of otolith afferents were determined during static re-orientations relative to gravity and during Earth-horizontal, sinusoidal, linear oscillations. Canal afferents were tested for sensitivity to linear accelerations. For regular otolith afferents, a significant correlation between upright discharge rate and sensitivity to dynamic acceleration in the horizontal plane was observed. This correlation was not present in irregular units. The sensitivity of otolith afferents to both static tilts and dynamic linear acceleration was much greater in irregularly discharging units than in regularly discharging units. The spontaneous activity and static and dynamic response properties of regularly discharging otolith afferents were similar to those reported in barbiturate-anesthetized squirrel monkeys. Irregular afferents also had similar dynamic response properties when compared to anesthetized monkeys. However, this sample of irregular afferents in alert animals had higher resting discharge rates and greater sensitivity to static tilts. The majority of otolith polarization vectors were oriented near the horizontal in the plane of the utricular maculae; however, directions of maximum sensitivity were different during dynamic and static testing. Canal afferents were not sensitive to static tilts or linear oscillations of the head.
  • Robert H. Schor, Dora E. Angelaki
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 06/1992; 656:190-204. · 4.31 Impact Factor
  • Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 06/1992; 656:500-6. · 4.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 1. To investigate the neural substrate of vestibulospinal reflexes in decerebrate cats, we studied the responses of pontomedullary reticulospinal neurons to natural stimulation of the labyrinth in vertical planes. Our principal aim was to determine whether reticulospinal neurons that terminate in, or are likely to give off collaterals to, the upper cervical segments had properties similar to those of the vestibulocollic reflex (VCR). 2. Antidromic stimulation was used to determine whether the neurons projected to the neck, lower cervical, thoracic, or lumbar levels. Dynamics of the responses of spontaneously firing neurons were studied with sinusoidal stimuli delivered at 0.05-1 Hz and aligned to the plane of body rotation, that produced maximal modulation of the neuron (response vector orientation). Each neuron was assigned a vestibular input classification of otolith, vertical canal, otolith + canal, or spatial-temporal convergence (STC). 3. We found, in agreement with previous studies, that the largest fraction of pontomedullary reticulospinal neurons projected to the lumbar cord, and that only a small number ended in the neck segments. Neurons projecting to all levels of the spinal cord had similar responses to labyrinth stimulation. 4. Reticulospinal neurons that received only vertical canal inputs were rare (1 of 67 units). Most reticulospinal neurons (48%) received predominant otolith inputs, 18% received otolith + canal input, and only 9% had STC behavior. These data are in sharp contrast to the results of our previous studies of vestibulospinal neurons. A considerable portion of vestibulospinal neurons receives vertical canal input (38%), fewer receive predominantly otolith input (22%), whereas the proportion that have otolith + canal input or STC behavior is similar to our present reticulospinal data. 5. The response vector orientations of our reticulospinal neurons, particularly those with canal inputs (canal, otolith + canal, STC) were predominantly in the roll quadrants. There was no evidence of convergence of inputs from like canals across the midline (e.g., right anterior + left anterior). 6. Two characteristics of the VCR, STC behavior and bilateral input from symmetric vertical canals (in some muscles), cannot be accounted for by the reticulospinal neurons that we studied. Because these characteristics are also not seen in vestibulocollic neurons, they are likely to be the result of the appropriate convergence of vestibular signals in the spinal cord. 7. Pontomedullary reticulospinal neurons seem particularly well suited to play a role in gravity-dependent postural reflexes of neck and limbs.
    Journal of Neurophysiology 04/1992; 67(3):639-47. · 3.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 1. To compare the properties of the vestibulocollic reflex (VCR) with those of vestibular neurons projecting to the neck [vestibulocollic (VC) neurons], we have studied the behavior of the latter in the decerebrate cat. Neurons were identified by their antidromic responses to stimulation in C1-C2, but not C5. Responses to stimulation of vestibular and neck receptors were produced by rotation of the body and head in vertical planes. 2. We determined the plane of whole body (vestibular) or body with head counter-rotated (neck) rotation, which produced the maximal modulation of each neuron (response vector orientation). Neuron dynamics were then studied with sinusoidal (0.02-2 Hz) stimuli aligned with this orientation. 3. On the basis of dynamics and vector orientation, the neuron was assigned a vestibular input classification of otolith, vertical canal, otolith + canal, or spatial-temporal convergence (STC). 4. The properties of this sample of VC neurons are similar to those of a larger population of vestibular neurons whose projection was not identified. For example, the distributions of cells with different types of vestibular inputs were roughly the same; in particular, few cells showed STC responses. In addition, there was no evidence of significant convergence of like canals across the midline (e.g., right anterior + left anterior). 5. Also similar to the larger unidentified population, 80% of VC neurons tested for neck input received such an input. The neck and vestibular responses tended to be antagonistic; the vector orientations were usually opposite, and the response gains and phases similar.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
    Journal of Neurophysiology 01/1991; 64(6):1695-703. · 3.04 Impact Factor
  • J Kasper, R H Schor, V J Wilson
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    ABSTRACT: In decerebrate cats we used response dynamics to classify neurons in Deiters' nucleus and the rostral descending nucleus as receiving input from vertical canals, otolith organs (utricle) or canal + otolith. Many of these neurons, particularly those with convergent vestibular input (canal + otolith, canal + canal) and preferred stimulus directions near roll, also received neck input. Neck and vestibular response vectors tended to point in opposite directions. Neck and vestibular response dynamics were often well matched, so that combined stimuli (head rotation) produced no response over a wide frequency range. In some cases differing dynamics produced an output that appeared to code head position.
    Acta oto-laryngologica. Supplementum 02/1989; 468:137-9.
  • J Kasper, R H Schor, V J Wilson
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    ABSTRACT: 1. We have studied, in decerebrate cats, the responses of neurons in the lateral and descending vestibular nuclei to whole-body rotations in vertical planes that activated vertical semicircular canal and utricular receptors. Some neurons were identified as vestibulospinal by antidromic stimulation with floating electrodes placed in C4. 2. The direction of tilt that caused maximal excitation (response vector orientation) of each neuron was determined. Neuron dynamics were then studied with sinusoidal stimuli closely aligned with the response vector orientation, in the range 0.02-1 Hz. A few cells, for which we could not identify a response vector, probably had spatial-temporal convergence. 3. On the basis of dynamics, neurons were classified as receiving their input primarily from vertical semicircular canals, primarily from the otolith organs, or from canal+otolith convergence. 4. Response vector orientations of canal-driven neurons were often near +45 degrees or -45 degrees with respect to the transverse (roll) plane, suggesting these neurons received excitatory input from the ipsilateral anterior or posterior canal, respectively. Some neurons had canal-related dynamics but vector orientations near roll, presumably because they received convergent input from the ipsilateral anterior and posterior canals. Few neurons had their vectors near pitch. 5. In the lateral vestibular nucleus, neurons with otolith organ input (pure otolith or otolith+canal) tended to have vector orientations closer to roll than to pitch. In the descending nucleus the responses were evenly divided between the roll and pitch quadrants. 6. We conclude that most of our neurons have dynamics and response vector orientations that make them good candidates to participate in vestibulospinal reflexes acting on the limbs, but not those acting on the neck.
    Journal of Neurophysiology 12/1988; 60(5):1753-64. · 3.04 Impact Factor
  • J Kasper, R H Schor, V J Wilson
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    ABSTRACT: 1. We have studied the responses of neurons in the lateral and descending vestibular nuclei of decerebrate cats to stimulation of neck receptors, produced by rotating the body in vertical planes with the head stationary. The responses to such neck stimulation were compared with the responses to vestibular stimulation produced by whole-body tilt, described in the preceding paper. 2. After determining the optimal vertical plane of neck rotation (response vector orientation), the dynamics of the neck response were studied over a frequency range of 0.02-1 Hz. The majority of the neurons were excited by neck rotations that brought the chin toward the ipsilateral side; most neurons responded better to roll than to pitch rotations. The typical neck response showed a low-frequency phase lead of 30 degrees, increasing to 60 degrees at higher frequencies, and a gain that increased about threefold per decade. 3. Neck input was found in about one-half of the vestibular-responsive neurons tested with vertical rotations. The presence of a neck response was correlated with the predominant vestibular input to these neurons; neck input was most prevalent on neurons with vestibular vector orientations near roll and receiving convergent vestibular input, either input from both ipsilateral vertical semicircular canals, or from canals plus the otolith organs. 4. Neurons with both vestibular and neck responses tend to have the respective orientation vectors pointing in opposite directions, i.e., a head tilt that produces an excitatory vestibular response would produce an inhibitory neck response. In addition, the gain components of these responses were similar. These results suggest that during head movements on a stationary body, these opposing neck and vestibular inputs will cancel each other. 5. Cancellation was observed in 12 out of 27 neurons tested with head rotation in the mid-frequency range. For most of the remaining neurons, the response to such a combined stimulus was greatly attenuated: the vestibular and neck interaction was largely antagonistic. 6. Neck response dynamics were similar to those of the vestibular input in many neurons, permitting cancellation to take place over a wide range of stimulus frequencies. Another pattern of interaction, observed in some neurons with canal input, produced responses to head rotation that had a relatively constant gain and remained in phase with position over the entire frequency range; such neurons possibly code head position in space.
    Journal of Neurophysiology 12/1988; 60(5):1765-78. · 3.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 1. We recorded from neck muscle spindle afferents in the C2 dorsal root ganglion of the decerebrate cat using floating electrodes. The afferents presumably innervated mainly ventral and ventrolateral perivertebral muscles, and sternocleidomastoid. Stimuli consisted of combinations of rotatory head movements about the roll/pitch or pitch/yaw axes. An important difference from our earlier experiments (10) was the addition of yaw movement to the stimulus paradigm making possible a three-dimensional analysis of afferent behavior. 2. For each afferent we determined the most effective direction of tilt (orientation of the response vector) in three dimensions by using sinusoidal stimuli that combined pitch and roll, or pitch and yaw, or by measuring the gains to responses to roll, pitch, and yaw rotation. 3. Most afferents were sensitive to rotation around all three axes; pitch and yaw were usually more effective than roll. There was no indication of clustering of response vectors, as might be expected if the receptors were located in a small number of muscles each of which has receptors aligned in a homogeneous direction. 4. The responses of afferents were further studied using sinusoidal and trapezoidal stimuli aligned as closely as possible with the orientation of their response vector. The availability of the yaw stimulus made receptor classification based on response linearity, gain, and dynamic index more reliable than in our earlier experiments (10). 5. Muscle spindle responses were divided into three categories: A, B, and ambiguous. The evidence suggests that category A are probably spindle primary receptors and category B are secondaries. Ambiguous receptors have intermediate properties. 6. The caudal projection of spindle afferents was examined by delivering antidromic stimuli with a movable electrode on the surface of the ipsilateral dorsal column. Eighteen percent of the afferents projected to C4, and 14% as far as C5. Long caudal projections can be found in A, B, and ambiguous receptors with a range of directional sensitivities. 7. The evidence suggests that C2 spindle afferents make synapses in the midcervical segments with interneurons and propriospinal neurons that are part of the intraspinal pathway of the tonic neck reflex.
    Journal of Neurophysiology 06/1988; 59(5):1497-509. · 3.04 Impact Factor
  • Robert H. Schor
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 02/1988; 545:21-8. · 4.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The responses of interneurons in the cervical spinal cord of the decerebrate cat to whole-body tilt were studied with a goal of identifying spinal elements in the production of forelimb vestibular postural reflexes. Interneurons both in the cervical enlargement and at higher levels, from which propriospinal neurons have been identified, were examined, both in animals with intact labyrinths and in animals with nonfunctional semicircular canals (canal plugged). Most cervical interneurons responding to tilt respond best to rotations in vertical planes aligned within 30 degrees of the roll plane. Two to three times as many neurons are excited by side-up roll tilt as are excited by side-down roll. In cats with intact labyrinths, most responses have dynamics proportional either to (and in phase with) the position of the animal or to a sum of position and tilt velocity. This is consistent with input from both otolith organs and semicircular canals. In animals without functioning canals, the "velocity" response is absent. In a few cells (8 out of 76), a more complex response, characterized by an increasing gain and progressive phase lag, was observed. These response dynamics characterize the forelimb reflex in canal-plugged cats and have been previously observed in vestibular neurons in such preparations.
    Journal of Neurophysiology 10/1986; 56(4):1147-56. · 3.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: EMG recording was used to study the spatial organization of vestibular and tonic neck reflexes acting on forelimb and shoulder muscles of the decerebrate cat. Neck reflexes were studied in preparations with intact labyrinths as well as those with acute or chronic labyrinthectomies. Reflexes were described by response vectors whose orientation component is aligned with the optimal excitatory direction of tilt or head rotation. A muscle's vector orientation remained reasonably stable over a period of hours, although there was sometimes drift at the beginning or end of an experiment. Orientation of muscle response vectors did not change systematically with stimulus frequency of 0.05-2.0 Hz. For vestibular reflexes this is so, although their dynamics are consistent with convergent input from semicircular canals and otolith organs. Regardless of the preparation, a consistent reflex pattern emerged. Vestibular reflexes are characterized by response vector orientation near ear-down roll. Neck vector orientation lies in the opposite direction from the vestibular vector but typically lies further from the roll plane: Nose-up pitch is excitatory for the shoulder muscles supra- and infraspinatus, and for the medial and lateral heads of triceps, whereas nose-down pitch excites the long head of triceps. Our results generally agree with the pattern proposed by Roberts (28) for neck reflexes but disagree in part with his proposed pattern of vestibular reflexes; we did not see the expected consistent excitation by nose-down pitch.
    Journal of Neurophysiology 04/1986; 55(3):514-26. · 3.04 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

964 Citations
90.48 Total Impact Points


  • 1970–2009
    • The Rockefeller University
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2008
    • University of Rochester
      • Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
      Rochester, New York, United States
  • 1981–2008
    • University of Pittsburgh
      • • Department of Otolaryngology
      • • Department of Medicine
      Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 1988
    • CUNY Graduate Center
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 1978–1982
    • The University of Tokyo
      • School of Medicine
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan