Motion Sickness: A Brief Review and a Proposed Methodology for a Research Program

Report No. ARL-TN-0232
Authors: Paul N. Rose
Date/Pages: November 2004; 25 pages
Abstract: Field studies in digitized command and control vehicles have found motion sickness to be a significant problem. It is difficult to isolate the cognitive effects of motion sickness in field studies because of the many other variables (e.g., vehicle vibration and noise and ambient temperature) that could potentially affect performance of cognitive tasks. A laboratory environment would allow researchers to isolate the effects of motion sickness on cognition. This report begins with a brief description of the field studies and the problems researchers encounter when they conduct them. After that, a theoretical account of motion sickness is described, followed by a description of the signs and symptoms of motion sickness. Finally, research that uses an optokinetic drum (a cylinder with black-and-white stripes painted on the inside wall) to produce motion sickness symptoms in human research participants is reviewed. Based on the research, the essential design elements for building an apparatus effective for studying motion sickness in the laboratory are given. Finally, a series of experiments is described and a broad list of research benefits is enumerated.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: November 1, 2004