This study tested the hypothesis that patients suffering from non-organic (‘psychogenic’) dizziness would score higher on Witkins’ frame dependence test than a group of dizzy patients with peripheral organic damage. A computerized version of the portable rod and frame test was administered to a group of 10 chronic ENT patients with peripheral vestibular disease, 10 ENT patients with no detectable organic problems and 10 non-dizzy controls. Contrary to the hypothesis, the psychogenic group had less frame-dependent error than the peripheral group and less (though not significantly so) than the normal group. Four of the psychogenic group had very low frame dependence scores. The experience of dizziness may not be necessarily related to anxiety proneness and may be a function of an inhibitory autonomous perceptual style as well as one overly dependent on external cues.

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