Virtual Reality

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 17–31 | Cite as

An investigation into nausea and other side-effects of head-coupled immersive virtual reality

  • Clare Regan
Human Factors


This paper is written from a human factors perspective and discusses research into some of the side-effects of head-coupled immersive virtual reality. The paper provides a broad overview of the history of virtual reality and highlights some of the important current human factors issues. Reasons why side-effects of virtual reality technology may be expected are then discussed with particular reference to the literature on motion sickness and simulator sickness. A study is described which set out to document the frequency of occurrence and severity of side-effects of immersion in virtual reality. One hundred and fifty subjects took part in this study and were immersed in a virtual environment for 20 minutes. Sixty-one percent of the subjects were documented as reporting symptoms at some point during the 20 minute immersion period and a 10 minute post-immersion period. Five percent of the subjects had to withdraw from the study due to the severity of their symptoms. This finding led to further research that attempted to reduce the side-effects observed. Studies investigating the use of adaptation and the anti-motion sickness drug hyoscine hydrobromide are described. Both of these methods of reducing the side-effects of virtual reality proved successful with the hyoscine proving to be a very rapid method of symptom reduction.


immersion virtual reality simulator sickness VR sideeffects adaptation hyoscine hydrobromide 


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Copyright information

© Virtual Press Ltd 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clare Regan
    • 1
  1. 1.Training Section Department of Psychological SciencesDRA Centre for Human SciencesFarnboroughUK

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