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Volume 20, Number 5

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Auditory-pupillary responses in deaf subjects
Full Text Featured Article (791 KB)
pp. 373 - 380
Naoharu Kitajima, Koji Otsuka, Yasuo Ogawa, Shigetaka Shimizu, Mami Hayashi, Akihide Ichimura, Mamoru Suzuki

Pupillary dilation in response to sound stimuli is well established and is generally considered to represent a startle reflex to sound. We believe that the auditory-pupillary response represents not only a simple startle reflex to sound stimuli but also represents a reaction to stimulation of other sense organs, such as otolith organs. Eight young healthy volunteers without a history of hearing and equilibrium problems and 12 subjects with bilateral deafness participated in this study. Computer pupillography was used to analyze the auditory-pupillary responses of both eyes in all subjects. We found that auditory-pupillary responses occurred even in subjects with bilateral deafness and that this response was comparable to those of normal subjects. We propose that the auditory-pupillary response also relates to vestibular function. Thus, assessing the auditory-pupillary response may be useful for evaluating the vestibulo-autonomic response in patients with peripheral disequilibrium.

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