1) Explain how the VOR reflex can be used as a diagnostic tool to evaluate damage to the vestibular system. Make sure to explain how different levels (depths) of nervous system injury can be detected.

2) Explain why caffeine keeps you awake. The simple answer “because it blocks adenosine receptors’ is NOT enough! At a minimum, I will look for your description of its effect at more than one CNS site and why those sites are relevant.

3) Explain why reciprocal inhibitory circuits are so important in the nervous system. I will be looking for no less than 3 examples of where such circuit is crucial and the behaviors they generate. I will also look for a clear explanation for how such circuit explains the behavior it generates.

4) You are walking confidently down an uneven path to get some fresh air and clear your mind before this exam. Suddenly you here a loud sound from the side. As you turn to look you kick a rock sticking out of the ground and you start falling forward. Explain at least three (3) sensory mechanisms that are triggered into action (perhaps they were already active but they are now activated to a new level) from the moment you hear the sound. I will be looking for how you explain each of the mechanisms’ role in the behavioral events that were activated to save you from getting seriously hurt. In other words, how do they interact with each other and with the motor system? There is a lot that is happening there, so keep it focused and clear to stay within the ½ page limit. Make sure to use the definitions and concepts we have learned as you describe this behavior.

5) Before you tripped in (4) you were walking. Describe what happened in your CNS from the moment you were standing and enjoying the scene in front of you and you started to walk until just before your tripped. What mechanisms were engaged to make you start to walk and what mechanisms were active while you walked? Make sure to use the definitions and concepts we have learned as you describe this behavior.

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1. When neural system injury occurs we can evaluate the depth of the damage using VOR. This reflex is based on the detection of head movement to coordinate the movement of the eyes so they can stay fixed on the object. The principle is that when heads move left eyes move right. The nerves that detect this horizontal movement of the head start in the horizontal semicircular canal in the inner ear, goes through the brainstem to the muscle that regulates eye movements.
The injured patient is placed on his back with the head position on 30degrees above horizontal. It is important to induce this reflex with the caloric because willing movement abolished this reflex. This is called caloric testing. Irrigating one ear with the cold water, it cools down the nerve and mimics head movement away from the irrigated ear. In normal subjects, there will be slow eye movement to the irrigated ear and then fast movement away called saccadic movement. If the patient saccadic movement is missing, we can conclude that the brainstem is intact but that the injury is in the cerebral hemispheres. Only the saccadic movement is regulated in within the cerebrum. If the only eye on the same side as irrigated ear shows only slow eye movement that means that injury occurred...

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