Loud clicks, short tone bursts, head taps and short duration transmastoid currents are all capable of activating vestibular receptors and evoking reflex changes in tonic electromyogram activity within the sternocleidomastoid muscles. Because they derive from averaged electromyograms, the responses are termed ‘vestibular evoked myogenic potentials’. The earliest response ipsilateral to a loud click, p13n23, is dependent upon vestibular activation, specifically saccular afferents. These new techniques are beginning to be applied clinically. An important application is in suspected cases of the Tullio phenomenon, a condition that is characterized by a pathological reduction in click threshold. The techniques have also been applied in the assessment of otolith function, vestibular neuritis, Meniere's disease and vestibular nerve tumours (acoustic neuromas).