Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 235, Issue 3, pp 889–901

The virtual reality head-mounted display Oculus Rift induces motion sickness and is sexist in its effects

  • Justin Munafo
  • Meg Diedrick
  • Thomas A. Stoffregen
Research Article

Abstract

Anecdotal reports suggest that motion sickness may occur among users of contemporary, consumer-oriented head-mounted display systems and that women may be at greater risk. We evaluated the nauseogenic properties of one such system, the Oculus Rift. The head-mounted unit included motion sensors that were sensitive to users’ head movements, such that head movements could be used as control inputs to the device. In two experiments, seated participants played one of two virtual reality games for up to 15 min. In Experiment 1, 22% of participants reported motion sickness, and the difference in incidence between men and women was not significant. In Experiment 2, motion sickness was reported by 56% of participants, and incidence among women (77.78%) was significantly greater than among men (33.33%). Before participants were exposed to the head-mounted display system, we recorded their standing body sway during the performance of simple visual tasks. In both experiments, patterns of pre-exposure body sway differed between participants who (later) reported motion sickness and those who did not. In Experiment 2, sex differences in susceptibility to motion sickness were preceded by sex differences in body sway. These postural effects confirm a prediction of the postural instability theory of motion sickness. The results indicate that users of contemporary head-mounted display systems are at significant risk of motion sickness and that in relation to motion sickness these systems may be sexist in their effects.

Keywords

Motion sickness Posture Sex differences Virtual environments 

References

  1. Allen B, Hanley T, Rokers B, Green CS (2016) Visual 3D motion acuity predicts discomfort in 3D stereoscopic environments. Entertain Comput 13:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balasubramaniam R, Riley MA, Turvey MT (2000) Specificity of postural sway to the demands of a precision task. Gait Posture 11:12–24CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bonnet CT, Faugloire EM, Riley MA, Bardy BG, Stoffregen TA (2006) Motion sickness preceded by unstable displacements of the center of pressure. Hum Move Sci 25:800–820CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boyd D (2014). Is the Oculus Rift sexist? http://qz.com/192874/is-the-oculus-rift-designed-to-be-sexist/
  5. Chang C-H, Pan W-W, Tseng L-Y, Stoffregen TA (2012) Postural activity and motion sickness during video game play in children and adults. Exp Brain Res 217:299–309CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Chen Y-C, Dong X, Chen F-C, Stoffregen TA (2012) Control of a virtual avatar influences postural activity and motion sickness. Ecol Psychol 24:279–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chiari L, Rocchi L, Cappello A (2002) Stabilometric parameters are affected by anthropometry and foot placement. Clin Biomech 17:666–677CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Diels C (2014) Will autonomous vehicles make us sick? In: Sharples S, Shorrock S (eds) Contemporary ergonomics and human factors. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 301–307Google Scholar
  9. Dong X, Yoshida K, Stoffregen TA (2011) Control of a virtual vehicle influences postural activity and motion sickness. J Exp Psychol Appl 17:128–138CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Draper MH, Virre ES, Furness TA, Gawron VJ (2001) Effects of image scale and system time delay on simulator sickness within head-coupled virtual environments. Hum Fact 43:129–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Drummond PD (2005) Triggers of motion sickness in migraine sufferers. Headache 45:653–656CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Era P, Sainio P, Koskinen S, Haavisto P, Vaara M, Aromaa A (2006) Postural balance in a random sample of 7979 subjects aged 40 years and over. Gerontology 52:204–213CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Giammarco EA, Schneider TJ, Carswell JJ, Knipe WS (2015) Video game preferences and their relation to career interests. Pers Individ Differ 73:98–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Golding JF (2006) Motion sickness susceptibility. Autonom Neurosci Basic Clin 129:67–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Grannell C (2013). Why iOS7 is making some users sick. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/sep/27/ios-7-motion-sickness-nausea. Accessed June 23 2016
  16. Ihlen EA (2012) Introduction to multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis in Matlab. Front Physiol 3:141CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. Ihlen EA, Vereijken B (2010) Interaction-dominant dynamics in human cognition: beyond 1/ƒ α fluctuation. J Exp Psychol Gen 139:436–463CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Ihlen EA, Skjaeret N, Vereijken B (2013) The influence of center-of-mass movements on the variation in the structure of human postural sway. J Biomech 46:484–490CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Kelty-Stephen DG, Palatinus K, Saltzman E, Dixon JA (2013) A tutorial on multifractality, cascades, and interactivity for empirical times series in ecological science. Ecol Psychol 25:1–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kennedy RS, Lilienthal MG (1994) Measurement and control of motion sickness after-effects from immersion in virtual reality. In: Proceedings of “Virtual Reality and Medicine: the Cutting Edge”. New York: SIG-Advanced Applications, pp 111–119Google Scholar
  21. Kennedy RS, Dunlap WP, Fowlkes JE (1990) Prediction of motion sickness susceptibility. In: Crampton GH (ed) Motion and space sickness. CRC Press, Boca Raton FL, pp 179–215Google Scholar
  22. Kennedy RS, Lane NE, Berbaum KS, Lilienthal MG (1993) Simulator sickness questionnaire: an enhanced method for quantifying simulator sickness. Int J Aviat Psychol 3:203–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kennedy RS, Drexler J, Kennedy RC (2010) Research in visually induced motion sickness. Appl Ergonom 41:494–503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kimura D (1997) Sex, sexual orientation and Sex hormones influence human cognitive functions. Biomed Rev 7:33–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Klosterfalfen S, Pan F, Kellerman S, Enck P (2006) Gender and race as determinants of nausea induced by circular vection. Gend Med 3:236–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Koslucher FC, Haaland E, Stoffregen TA (2014) Body load and the postural precursors of motion sickness. Gait Posture 39:606–610CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Koslucher FC, Haaland E, Malsch A, Webeler J, Stoffregen TA (2015) Sex differences in the incidence of motion sickness induced by linear visual oscillation. Aviat Med Hum Perform 86:787–793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Koslucher FC, Haaland E, Stoffregen TA (2016a) Sex differences in visual performance and postural sway precede sex differences in visually induced motion sickness. Exp Brain Res 234:313–322. doi:10.1007/s00221-015-4462-y CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Koslucher FC, Munafo J, Stoffregen TA (2016b) Postural sway in men and women during nauseogenic motion of the illuminated environment. Exper Brain Res 234:2709–2720. doi:10.1007/s00221-016-4675-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lackner JR, DiZio P (2006) Space motion sickness. Exp Brain Res 175:377–399CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Lang DJ (2016) For virtual reality creators, motion sickness a real issue. http://phys.org/news/2016-03-virtual-reality-creators-motion-sickness.html. Accessed May 9 2016
  32. Lawther A, Griffin MJ (1986) The motion of a ship at sea and the consequent motion sickness amongst passengers. Ergonomics 29:535–552CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Lawther A, Griffin MJ (1988) A survey of the occurrence of motion sickness amongst passengers at sea. Aviat Space Environ Med 59:399–406PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Lewis T (2015) When will virtual-reality headsets stop making people sick? http://www.livescience.com/50129-virtual-reality-nausea-sickness.html. Accessed June 23 2016
  35. Lin D, Seol H, Nussbaum MA, Madigan ML (2008) Reliability of COP-based postural sway measures and age-related differences. Gait Posture 28:337–342CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. McConville KMV, Milosevic M (2014) Active video game head movement inputs. Pers Ubiq Comput 18:253–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Merhi O, Faugloire E, Flanagan M, Stoffregen TA (2007) Motion sickness, console video games, and head mounted displays. Hum Fact 49:920–934CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Munafo J, Curry C, Wade MG, Stoffregen TA (2016) The distance of visual targets affects the spatial magnitude and multifractal scaling of standing body sway in younger and older adults. Exp Brain Res 234:2721–2730CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Read JCA, Bohr I (2014) User experience while viewing stereoscopic 3D television. Ergonomics 57:1140–1153CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. Regan EC, Price KR (1994) The frequency of occurrence and severity of side-effects of immersion virtual reality. Aviat Space Environ Med 65:527–530PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Riccio GE, Stoffregen TA (1991) An ecological theory of motion sickness and postural instability. Ecol Psychol 3:195–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rolnick A, Lubow RE (1991) Why is the driver rarely motion sick? The role of controllability in motion sickness. Ergonomics 34:867–879CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Stanney K, Salvendy G, Deisinger J, DiZio P, Ellis S, Ellision J, Fogleman G, Gallimore J, Hettinger L, Kennedy R, Lackner J, Lawson B, Maida J, Mead A, Mon-Williams M, Newman D, Piantanida T, Reeves L, Riedel O, Singer M, Stoffregen T, Wann J, Welch R, Wilson J, Witmer R (1998) Aftereffects and sense of presence in virtual environments: formulation of a research and development agenda. Report sponsored by the Life Sciences Division at NASA headquarters. Int J Hum Comput Interact 10:135–187CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Stevens SC, Parsons MG (2002) Effects of motion at sea on crew performance: a survey. Mar Technol 39:29–47Google Scholar
  45. Stoffregen TA (1985) Flow structure versus retinal location in the optical control of stance. J Exper Psychol: Human Percept Perf 11:554–565Google Scholar
  46. Stoffregen TA, Smart LJ (1998) Postural instability precedes motion sickness. Brain Res Bull 47:437–448CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Stoffregen TA, Hettinger LJ, Haas MW, Roe M, Smart LJ (2000a) Postural instability and motion sickness in a fixed-base flight simulator. Hum Fact 42:458–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Stoffregen TA, Pagulayan RJ, Bardy BG, Hettinger LJ (2000b) Modulating postural control to facilitate visual performance. Hum Move Sci 19:203–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Stoffregen TA, Faugloire E, Yoshida K, Flanagan M, Merhi O (2008) Motion sickness and postural sway in console video games. Hum Fact 50:322–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Stoffregen TA, Yoshida K, Villard S, Scibora L, Bardy BG (2010) Stance width influences postural stability and motion sickness. Ecol Psychol 22:169–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Stoffregen TA, Chen F-C, Varlet M, Alcantara C, Bardy BG (2013) Getting your sea legs. PLOS ONE 8(6):e66949. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066949 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  52. Stoffregen TA, Chen Y-C, Koslucher FC (2014) Motion control, motion sickness, and the postural dynamics of mobile devices. Exp Brain Res 232:1389–1397CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Turner M (1999) Motion sickness in public road transport: passenger behaviour and susceptibility. Ergonomics 42:444–461CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Turner M, Griffin MJ (1999) Motion sickness in public road transport: the relative importance of motion, vision, and individual differences. Br J Psychol 90:519–530CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Voyer D, Voyer S, Bryden MP (1995) Magnitude of sex differences in spatial abilities: a meta-analysis and consideration of critical variables. Psychol Bull 117:250–270CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justin Munafo
    • 1
  • Meg Diedrick
    • 1
  • Thomas A. Stoffregen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

Personalised recommendations