Using a newly designed rotating apparatus with control of acceleration, deceleration and speed, the response of 64 full term newborn infants to rotation was studied.
While awake, all infants showed head and eye deviation opposite to the direction of rotation during acceleration and in the same direction during deceleration; all infants had a normal nystagmus during acceleration and for several turns of constant speed. Then followed a reversal of the nystagmus as soon as deceleration took place. The duration of postrotational nystagmus following 10 turns in 20 seconds varied from 3 to 35 seconds with an average of 13.1 seconds. There is no comparable adult group reported as the stimulus is not constant or controlled.
Sleeping infants had no response to rotation even though they gave normal responses while awake.
Associated postrotation reactions were: flushing, eructation and voiding.
The literature on vestibular responses to rotation in the newborn infant has been reviewed.
- Received August 25, 1952.
- Copyright © 1953 by the American Academy of Pediatrics