Acute peripheral vestibular deficit increases redundancy in random number generation

Moser, Ivan; Vibert, Dominique; Caversaccio, Marco D.; Mast, Fred W. (2017). Acute peripheral vestibular deficit increases redundancy in random number generation. Experimental brain research, 235(2), pp. 627-637. Springer 10.1007/s00221-016-4829-8

10.1007_s00221-016-4829-8.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (567kB) | Preview

Unilateral peripheral vestibular deficit leads to broad cognitive difficulties and biases in spatial orientation. More specifically, vestibular patients typically show a spatial bias toward their affected ear in the subjective visual vertical, head and trunk orientation, fall tendency, and walking trajectory. By means of a random number generation task, we set out to investigate how an acute peripheral vestibular deficit affects the mental representation of numbers in space. Furthermore, the random number generation task allowed us to test if patients with peripheral vestibular deficit show evidence of impaired executive functions while keeping the head straight and while performing active head turns. Previous research using galvanic vestibular stimulation in healthy people has shown no effects on number space, but revealed increased redundancy of the generated numbers. Other studies reported a spatial bias in number representation during active and passive head turns. In this experiment, we tested 43 patients with acute vestibular neuritis (18 patients with left-sided and 25 with right-sided vestibular deficit) and 28 age-matched healthy controls. We found no bias in number space in patients with peripheral vestibular deficit but showed increased redundancy in patients during active head turns. Patients showed worse performance in generating sequences of random numbers, which indicates a deficit in the updating component of executive functions. We argue that RNG is a promising candidate for a time- and cost-effective assessment of executive functions in patients suffering from a peripheral vestibular deficit.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders (ENT)

UniBE Contributor:

Moser, Ivan; Vibert-Mennet, Dominique; Caversaccio, Marco and Mast, Fred


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Jeannette Gatschet

Date Deposited:

28 Jul 2017 09:49

Last Modified:

04 May 2022 12:29

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Executive functions; Numerical cognition; Random number generation; Spatial attention; Vestibular deficit




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback