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

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgements

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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Correspondence to Sarah D’Amour.

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D’Amour, S., Bos, J.E. & Keshavarz, B. The efficacy of airflow and seat vibration on reducing visually induced motion sickness. Exp Brain Res 235, 2811–2820 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-017-5009-1

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Keywords

  • Motion sickness
  • Simulator sickness
  • Vibration
  • Airflow
  • Vection
  • Gender