Jul 29, 2009

Performance and autonomic responses during motion sickness

Human Factors
Joakim DahlmanTorbjörn Falkmer


The aim of the study was to investigate how motion sickness, triggered by an optokinetic drum, affects short-term memory performance and to explore autonomic responses to perceived motion sickness. Previous research has found that motion sickness decreases performance, but it is not known how short-term memory in particular is affected. Thirty-eight healthy participants performed a listening span test while seated in a rotating optokinetic drum. Measurements of motion sickness, performance, heart rate, skin conductance, blood volume pulse, and pupil size were performed simultaneously throughout the experiment. A total of 16 participants terminated the trial because of severe nausea, and the other 22 endured the full 25 min. Perceived motion sickness increased over time in both groups but less among those who endured the trial. Short-term memory performance decreased toward the end for those who terminated but increased in the other group. Results from the measured autonomic responses were ambiguous. We conclude that performance, measured as short-term memory, declines as perceived motion sickness progresses. This research has potential implications for command and control personnel at risk of developing motion sickness.

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  • Citations11


Mentioned in this Paper

Entire Pupil
Whole Blood Volume Determination, Including Separate Measurement of Plasma Volume and Red Cell Volume (Radiopharmaceutical Volume-dilution Technique)
Autonomic Nervous System
Motion Sickness brand of dimenhydrinate
Motion Sickness
Skin Conductance

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