Gaze shift dynamic visual acuity: A functional test of gaze stability that distinguishes unilateral vestibular hypofunction

Po Yin Chen, Ying Chun Jheng, Shih En Huang, Lieber Po-Hung Li, Shun Hwa Wei, Michael C. Schubert, Chung Lan Kao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Embedded within most rapid head rotations are gaze shifts, which is an initial eye rotation to a target of interest, followed by a head rotation towards the same target. Gaze shifts are used to acquire an image that initially is outside of the participant's current field of vision. Currently, there are no tools available that evaluate the functional relevance of a gaze shift. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of our study was to measure dynamic visual acuity (DVA) while performing a gaze shift. METHODS: Seventy-one healthy participants (42.79±16.89 years) and 34 participants with unilateral vestibular hypofunction (UVH) (54.59±20.14 years) were tested while wearing an inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensor on the head and walking on a treadmill surrounded by three monitors. We measured visual acuity during three subcomponent tests: standing (static visual acuity), while performing an active head rotation gaze shift, and an active head rotation gaze shift while walking (gsDVAw). RESULTS: While doing gsDVAw, patients with Left UVH (n=21) had scores worse (p=0.023) for leftward (0.0446±0.0943 LogMAR) head rotation compared with the healthy controls (-0.0075±0.0410 LogMAR). Similarly, patients with right UVH (N=13) had worse (p=0.025) gsDVAw for rightward head motion (0.0307±0.0481 LogMAR) compared with healthy controls (-0.0047±0.0433 LogMAR). As a whole, gsDVAw scores were worse in UVH compared to the healthy controls when we included the ipsilesional head rotation on both sides gsDVAw (0.0061±0.0421 LogMAR healthy vs. 0.03926±0.0822 LogMAR UVH, p=0.003). Controlling for age had no effect, the gsDVAw scores of the patients were always worse (p<0.01). CONCLUSION: The gaze shift DVA test can distinguish gaze stability in patients with UVH from healthy controls. This test may be a useful measure of compensation for patients undergoing various therapies for their vestibular hypofunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-45
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Vestibular Research: Equilibrium and Orientation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • and vestibular evaluation
  • dynamic visual acuity
  • gaze shift
  • Vestibular hypofunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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