Being in Motion

Over Christmas I met my new grandniece who, at the age of one month, loves to dance. Any kind of rhythmic motion soothes and enthralls her. Whether we grooved to Stevie Wonder or waltzed to Frank Sinatra, her cries would cease, her muscles relax, and her eyes brightly turn to the swirling landscape around her. While others in the family were curious to discover the object of little Emma’s gaze, my wonder was with the process of how she responded…

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Why is it that dizziness happens in the head but makes us unstable on our feet? Blame the vestibular system – the sensory system that perceives our motion in space in relationship to gravity.  The sensors themselves are located in the inner ear, but the information they provide is critical to perceiving and maintaining our vertical alignment with gravity as we move around in the world. And that matters for more than not falling down. Gravity affects every breath we take,…

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