Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Document Type


Date of this Version



J Perinatol. 2012 August ; 32(8): 614–620.


Copyright 2012 Zimmerman and Barlow


Objective—To examine the role of vestibular inputs on respiratory and oromotor systems in healthy preterm infants.

Study Design—27 preterm infants were quasi-randomly assigned to either the VestibuGlide treatment or control groups. VestibuGlide infants were held in a developmentally supportive position, given a pacifier and received a series of vestibular stimuli, counterbalanced across rate and acceleration conditions, 15 minutes 3x/day for 10 days. The control infants were also held in a developmentally supportive position, given a pacifier for 15 minutes 3x/day for 10 days but did not receive the VestibuGlide stimulation.

Result—A multi-level regression model revealed that treatment infants increased their respiratory rate in response to vestibular stimulus and that the highest level of vestibular acceleration delivered to the infants (0.51 m/s2) resulted in a significant increase in breaths per minute.

Conclusion—Vestibular stimulation delivered to preterm infants prior to scheduled feeds effectively modulates respiratory rate and resets the respiratory central pattern generator.