When you spin around, you lose balance because fluid is spinning around in what specific part of the body?

1 Answer
Feb 29, 2016

You lose balance because fluid is spinning around in the semicircular canals.


The semicircular canals, part of the vestibular system of the inner ear, are three curved, fluid filled tubes, each of which is oriented in different planes. When you spin around, the fluid in the canal oriented in the horizontal plane begins to move with your body. The moving fluid stimulates nerve endings called hair cells which send nerve impulses to your brain telling it where your head is oriented in space.

When you spin and stop, the fluid in your ear continues to move for w while, stimulating the hair cells and sending information to the brain that you are still moving, when in fact you have stopped and only the fluid is moving. This causes you to lose your balance and stumble around, since your brain cannot tell where your head really is oriented in space.