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Straka, Hans ORCID: 0000-0003-2874-0441 (2010): Ontogenetic rules and constraints of vestibulo-ocular reflex development. In: Current Opinion in Neurobiology, Vol. 20, No. 6: pp. 689-695
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Vestibulo-ocular reflexes (VOR) assist retinal image stabilization during vertebrate locomotion thereby ensuring accurate visual perception. The importance of this motor behavior for animal survival requires that the underlying circuitry and all individual components are fully developed and functional as soon as post-embryonic animals initiate self-motion. Recent progress on the genetic, molecular, and activity-dependent regulation of placode development, vestibular sensory organ formation, circuit assembly, and acquisition of neuronal properties revealed rules and restrictions that give insight into how hindbrain VOR neuronal networks are assembled and become functional during ontogeny. Major crucial steps that correlate with early/delayed functional VOR onsets concern the maturation of cellular properties (precocial/altricial species) and the acquisition of minimal semicircular canal dimensions (small-sized vertebrates).