Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 235, Issue 9, pp 2811–2820 | Cite as

The efficacy of airflow and seat vibration on reducing visually induced motion sickness

  • Sarah D’AmourEmail author
  • Jelte E. Bos
  • Behrang Keshavarz
Research Article


Visually induced motion sickness (VIMS) is a well-known sensation in virtual environments and simulators, typically characterized by a variety of symptoms such as pallor, sweating, dizziness, fatigue, and/or nausea. Numerous methods to reduce VIMS have been previously introduced; however, a reliable countermeasure is still missing. In the present study, the effect of airflow and seat vibration to alleviate VIMS was investigated. Eighty-two participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups (airflow, vibration, combined airflow and vibration, and control) and then exposed to a 15 min long video of a bicycle ride shot from first-person view. VIMS was measured using the Fast Motion Sickness Scale (FMS) and the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ). Results showed that the exposure of airflow significantly reduced VIMS, whereas the presence of seat vibration, in contrast, did not have an impact on VIMS. Additionally, we found that females reported higher FMS scores than males, however, this sex difference was not found in the SSQ scores. Our findings demonstrate that airflow can be an effective and easy-to-apply technique to reduce VIMS in virtual environments and simulators, while vibration applied to the seat is not a successful method.


Motion sickness Simulator sickness Vibration Airflow Vection Gender 



We like to thank Bruce Haycock and Susan Gorski for their technical help and Ben Leaker for his support with data processing.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.TNO Perceptual and Cognitive SystemsSoesterbergThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Faculty of Behavioural and Movement SciencesVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Research/iDAPTToronto Rehabilitation Institute–University Health NetworkTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada

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