Optomotor behaviour in Xenopus laevis tadpoles as a measure of the effect of gravity on visual and vestibular neural integration.
Preparing the German Spacelab Mission D-2 project "Gravity Perception and Neuronal Plasticity"--STATEX II--ground based experiments have been performed with larvae of the amphibian vertebrate Xenopus laevis Daud. to study the reactions to different levels of acceleration forces and profiles. The larvae have been exposed to accelerations of up to 5 g for different time periods using a modified laboratory centrifuge and the NIZEMI (Niedergeschwindigkeits-Zentrifugen-Mikroskop) which allows direct observation and video documentation. The results will be discussed and compared with those of the D1-Mission, parabolic flights, and simulated weightlessness.