School of Psychology News & events

Research Summary

Sumner, P, Freeman, T, Rushton, S, Rajenderkumar, D, Hamandi, K, Derry, H (2013 - 2014) Improving rehabilitation of visual vertigo through understanding the visual triggers. Wellcome Trust. £12,152.


Sufferers of visual vertigo (sometimes called visual dependency) experience debilitating episodes of dizziness triggered by certain visual stimuli or environments, such as supermarket aisles, motorways while driving, or patterned carpets. Rehabilitation is generally slow and often incomplete; therefore such patients constitute 30-50% of time allocation in vestibular rehabilitation clinics. We will generate rehabilitation tools shown to have promise in previous research and then underpin improvements in these tools through better characterisation of the key components of the stimuli that trigger dizziness, and the processing deficits associated with them. Current understanding is very limited, and to our knowledge we are the first group to apply expertise in visual psychophysics to the problem.  Unusually, outputs can immediately be translated to the clinic to begin benefitting patients within the first year. This focussed project will produce pilot data for an MRC bid, and at the same time establish a new collaboration pathway from lab to clinic that can deliver a benefit to patients nationally in time for an impact case study in REF 2020.