Barry Smith head shot

How your eyes help with balance

People living with nystagmus often experience dizziness and problems with balance. In his radio programme ‘The Uncommon Senses’, Barry Smith explores the senses involved in balance and why our vision is so important.

A journey into the human multi-sensory experience, with philosopher Barry Smith and sound artist Nick Ryan. In this episode, we look at the intricacies involved in standing up. For thousands of years people thought we had 5 senses, now it’s believed we have up to 33. In this new series, philosopher Barry Smith and sound artist Nick Ryan take us into the extraordinary world of sensory perception. Barry Smith explores how ballet dancers can whirl around like spinning tops, and why the classic ‘drunk driver’ test works. And we examine the strange workings of the 3 senses involved in the simple task of getting to our feet: vision, vestibular, and proprioception, and ask what happens when they go wrong.

Listen to the programme on BBC Sounds here