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Dizziness and Inner Ear Disorders – Invitation to participate in a Vestibular research study.


What happens to our mental capabilities and our composure when we become dizzy or disorientated?

Cubex Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist, Mr Jeremy Corcoran is currently involved in a study that explores if and how some of our mental capabilities (particularly our spatial reasoning abilities) and our composure (the balance of our autonomic nervous system) are affected by dizziness caused by mismatching visual and vestibular signals. Mr Corcoran has already completed two large studies which have looked into this. For scientific robustness, he is completing another study in this area to see if he can replicate his previous results once again.

If you are interested, and have not previously suffered with dizziness, we would like to invite you to take part in the study. We will measure your problem-solving capabilities and your fight-or-flight response while you are spun around in a motorised chair built by the Royal Air Force.

Before you decide, we would like you to understand why the research is being done and what it would involve for you. The study has been fully approved by the University of Westminster. Please take your time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with friends, family and your GP if you wish. We would be happy to go through the information sheet with you and answer any questions you have. Ask us if there is anything that is not clear.


Purpose of the study?

Mr Corcoran wishes to find out what happens to our mental capabilities and our calmness when we become dizzy or disorientated. Turning or spinning around in certain ways can lead to feelings of dizziness or disorientation. This is because certain head rotations intensify the signals sent to the brain from the vestibular organs in our inner ears about our orientation and motion. These intense vestibular signals mismatch with visual signals sent to the brain about our orientation and motion. Mismatching visual and vestibular signals are thought to explain why pilots are prone to dizziness or disorientation during some flight manoeuvres, and why patients with inner ear disorders experience dizziness or disorientation during many day-to-day situations.

Research is lacking into how mismatching visual and vestibular signals, and resultant dizziness, influence our ability to problem-solve and to keep composed. This study is important because it may help us to understand human error by flight crew contending with dizziness or disorientation. It may also help us to appreciate the day-to-day difficulties experienced by patients with vestibular disorders.

Participant Questions and Answers

Am I eligible to take part in the study?

We are inviting you to take part in the study because you are over 18 years of age, and in decent health, with no previous experiences of severe, unexplained dizziness. For more specific information about whether your health and wellbeing make you a suitable candidate to take part in this study, please complete the ‘Eligibility Screening Questions’ here.

By studying 80 people’s problem-solving abilities and composure while being spun around, we should gain enough information to identify gaps in the safety and well being of professionals and patients with dizziness or disorientation.

What will happen to the results of the study?

We intend to publish the results of the study in a scientific journal. You will not be identifiable from the data that is put forward for publication. If you wish, we will post you a broad summary of the results.

Who is organising and running the study?

The study has been organised, and will be carried out, by Mr Jeremy Corcoran, Doctoral Researcher and Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist. It will form part of his PhD project. He is being supervised by Professor Tony Towell, Professor John Golding and Dr Mark Gardner, who are all experienced researchers in this field.
Further information and contact details

Find out more

We understand if you have lots of questions and would like you to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to take part on the study. You can download our PDF which explains the study in much more detail, what the study will involve, any possible side effects and what you can expect.

View Information Sheet - PDF >

Lead Researcher Details

Mr Jeremy Corcoran
Doctoral Researcher
Department of Psychology
University of Westminster
Room 7.108 Clipstone Building
115 New Cavendish Street


Laboratory Address:

If you volunteer to take part, you will be asked to attend a study appointment at:
Health Psychology Laboratory
University of Westminster
Room 3.108 Clipstone Building
115 New Cavendish Street







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