Visually induced motion sickness in a virtual environment


Technological development of virtual environments for military training and private business is exploding, but there is concern for the after effects of visually induced motion sickness (VIMS). This problem was first identified using simulation for flight training, and solutions have not yet been found. Additionally, the results of previous studies suggested that women have a greater propensity towards VIMS than men. Little research has focused on the possible differences between male and female responses to simulation. The symptoms of VIMS are similar to what is found in more traditional forms of motion sickness (e.g. nausea, pallor and sweating), but there is also a heavy component of symptoms which are more related to the oculomotor system (e.g. eyestrain, headache, and blurred vision) which are not normally associated with motion sickness. In addition to problems during exposure, there are safety considerations due to after effects such as flashbacks and postural instability. Historically, gender differences seem to play a role in the level of susceptibility to motion sickness, to the extent of which little is presently known. The purpose of this study is to evaluate susceptibility in male and female subjects after a series of tasks involving a helmet-mounted display (HMD). A HMD was used in conducting a rehearsal route three times through a virtual model of an. actual office building. Two questionnaires were used to establish susceptibility to motion sickness and wellness of the participant before and after the experiment. Although the study suggested a higher rate of VIMS in females than males, sample size was not quite large enough for a statistically significant result to have been achieved. Eleven out of 75 subjects dropped out of the study because of severe VIMS symptoms (predominantly nausea and disorientation). These results suggest that simulator sickness is a potential problem of considerable magnitude in virtual environments.


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Thesis Completion





Kincaid, J. Peter


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program



Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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