Six patients are described who experienced difficulty in driving a motor car. Four had illusions that the car was turning, which occurred particularly on open, featureless roads or the brows of hills and caused the driver to stop. All patients had peripheral or central neurootological abnormalities, but the only finding consistent with the directionality of the symptoms was an unpleasantly increased sense of circularvection during optokinetic stimulation in the direction of the illusion. These problems occur because of a false sense of orientation arising either from inappropriate signals from disordered vestibular canal and otolith organs or from a disordered central interpretation of vestibular information, and become manifest in the absence of adequate visual stabilisation. The other two patients with lateralised vestibular disease made inappropriate steering adjustments in the direction of the imbalance of vestibular tone.
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