Visual and Vestibular Components of Motion Sickness

Eyeson-Annan, Margo, Peterken, Carolyn S., Brown, Brian, & Atchison, David A. (1996) Visual and Vestibular Components of Motion Sickness. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 67(10), pp. 955-962.


Background: The relative importance of visual and vestibular information in the etiology of motion sickness (MS) is not well understood, but these factors can be manipulated by inducing Coriolis and pseudo-Coriolis effects in experimental subjects. Hypothesis: We hypothesized that visual and vestibular information are equivalent in producing MS. The experiments reported here aim, in part, to examine the relative influence of Coriolis and pseudo-Coriolis effects in inducing MS. Methods: We induced MS symptoms by combinations of whole body rotation and tilt, and environment rotation and tilt, in 22 volunteer subjects. Subjects participated in all of the experiments with at least 2 d between each experiment to dissipate after-effects. We recorded MS signs and symptoms when only visual stimulation was applied, when only vestibular stimulation was applied, and when both visual and vestibular stimulation were applied under specific conditions of whole body and environmental tilt. Results: Visual stimuli produced more symptoms of MS than vestibular stimuli when only visual or vestibular stimuli were used (ANOVA: F = 7.94, df = 1, 21 p =0.01), but there was no significant difference in MS production when combined visual and vestibular stimulation were used to produce the Coriolis effect or pseudo-Coriolis effect (ANOVA: F = 0.40, df = 1, 21 p = 0.53). This was further confirmed by examination of the order in which the symptoms occurred and the lack of a correlation between previous experience and visually induced MS. Conclusions: Visual information is ore important than vestibular input in causing MS when these stimuli are presented in isolation. In conditions where both visual and vestibular information are present, cross-coupling appears to occur between the pseudo-Coriolis effect and the Coriolis effect, as these two conditions are not significantly different in producing MS symptoms.

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20 citations in Scopus
17 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 5115
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see link) or contact the author. Author contact details:
Additional URLs:
Keywords: motion sickness, visual component, vestibular component
ISSN: 0095-6562
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1996 Aerospace Medical Association
Deposited On: 28 Sep 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2009 07:12

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