Influence of proprioceptive information on space orientation on the ground and in orbital weightlessness
Conscious space orientation depends on afferent information from different sense organs including the labyrinth, the eyes, tactile cues from the skin, joint receptors, muscle spindles, tendon organs and possibly viscera. An important role is played by impulses from the cervical position receptors in interaction with concomitant information from the otolith system. In order to isolate the effect of cervical position receptors from that of the otolith system, space experiments in orbital weightlessness and in parabolic aircraft flight were performed. It was found that stimulation of the neck receptors in weightlessness markedly influences the perception of the subjective vertical and horizontal and in addition has a weak effect on ocular torsion.