1. 1.

    Postural behavioural changes during vestibular compensation were studied in goldfish. The tilting posture induced by directional light in the dorsal light reflex (DLR) was monitored by an automated camera system. Responses were measured over a 1-month period following a partial unilateral labyrinthectomy. 2. After the fish had recovered from the ataxic stage, the first observable DLR had shifted strongly towards the operated side. This early bias decreased rapidly, then more gradually. Mean values for the DLR reached a steady state within 2 weeks. 3. Recovery rates were slowest for DLR tilts elicited by light presented from the operated side. 4. The DLR did not recover to preoperative control values for light from either the intact or operated side. Shortly after the operation, light from the operated side produced DLR values nearly double the normal; light from the intact side had an effect very little different from normal. At steady state, the light effect from the operated side had decreased from the high immediately post-ataxic levels to a level roughly 1.5 times normal, but the light effect from the intact side had increased, also reaching a level roughly 1.5 times normal. Thus the final values again show symmetry. 5. Variability appears to be an important feature of the response.

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