In order to navigate our way through the world, the brain uses information from both vestibular (balance) and visual systems. In healthy individuals these systems work in a complementary fashion such that we are able to walk to the toilet during the night in complete darkness, and when we are sat on a train we are able to quickly discern relative motion with respect to other moving or stationary trains. However, in patients suffering from visual motion discomfort or problems with spatial orientation, the interaction between the visual and balance systems is abnormal. It is thought that abnormal processing of visual and vestibular cues can lead to an over reliance on one source of information for balance and spatial orientation. Patients can describe dizziness and disorientation when specifically exposed to visual motion or conflicting visuo-vestibular stimuli. The aim of this project is to develop a methodology for exploring both brain activity during visual and vestibular stimulation in healthy participants. Our findings will advance understanding of the brain regions involved, and could then be extended to testing patient populations.

Key publications

Principal investigator

Researchers involved


  • Medical Research Council