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Why do we feel dizzy when we spin? © Getty Images

Why do we feel dizzy when we spin?

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Overcompensation from your brain can make it hard to keep your balance.

Asked by: Matt Pattinson, Devon

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When you move your head, the acceleration is detected by hairs lining the side of fluid-filled tubes in your inner ear. If you spin for long enough, the brain gets desensitised to the constant turn signals from your ear, and adjusts to zero them out.

When you stop, the ears correctly report zero turning, but your brain is still actively cancelling this out and so it thinks you are now spinning in the opposite direction.


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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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