VAPORHCS/OHSU J: Vestibular contribution to the control of human upright stance

Principal Investigator

Robert Peterka

Study Purpose

This study is titled “Vestibular contribution to the control of human upright stance (MIRB#4024)”.

The purpose of this study is to better understand how orientation information from the inner ear vestibular motion sensors contributes to balance during stance and to determine the feasibility of a balance prosthesis that activates vestibular sensors using a low amplitude electrical current applied through electrodes placed on the skin behind the ears.

Participation in the study would involve various tests of balance. You will wear a harness and have various sensors placed on your body. The surface you are standing on and/or the visual field will be moved in an unpredictable manner. Each trial lasts 1-7 minutes with frequent rest periods between trials. During some tests, small electrical currents will be applied through electrodes placed behind your ears. There is no direct benefit to participation, but your participation may help us improve healthcare for people in the future.

All study visits would take place at VA Portland Healthcare System, 3710 SW US Veterans Rd., Portland, OR 97239. Dr. Robert J. Peterka, Ph.D. is the investigator for this study. This is a research study and should not be considered treatment.

Medical Condition(s)

Healthy controls and subjects with confirmed bilateral vestibular loss.

Eligibility Criteria

Participants must be between 18-65 years of age. All subjects should be in generally good health without any history of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, or joint disorders. Healthy controls should have no history of dizziness or balance problems. Vestibular loss subjects should have their loss confirmed by previous clinical testing.

Age Range

18 - 65

Healthy Volunteers Needed


Duration of Participation

1-5 sessions - lasting about 2 1/2 hours per session

Minors Included



Robert Peterka,


National Institutes of Health

Recruitment End


Compensation Provided



Participants will receive $35 for each 2 1/2 hour session.

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