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Effects of Physical Driving Experience on Body Movement and Motion Sickness During Virtual Driving

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BACKGROUND: In previous research on motion sickness in simulated and virtual vehicles, subjects’ experience controlling the corresponding physical vehicles has been confounded with their age. During driving of virtual automobiles in a video game, we separated chronological age from experience driving physical automobiles.

METHODS: Subjects drove a virtual automobile in a driving video game. Drivers were young adults with several years of experience driving physical automobiles, while nondrivers were individuals in the same age group who did not have a driver’s license and had never driven an automobile. During virtual driving, we monitored movement of the head and torso. We collected independent measures of the incidence and severity of motion sickness.

RESULTS: After virtual driving, motion sickness incidence did not differ between drivers (65%) and nondrivers (60%). Game performance and the severity of symptoms also did not differ between drivers and nondrivers. However, movement differed between subjects who later became motion sick and those who did not. In addition, physical driving experience influenced patterns of postural activity that preceded motion sickness during virtual driving.

CONCLUSIONS: The results are consistent with the postural instability theory of motion sickness, and help to illuminate relationships between the control of physical and virtual vehicles.

Chang C-H, Chen F-C, Kung W-C, Stoffregen TA. Effects of physical driving experience on body movement and motion sickness during virtual driving. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2017; 88(11):985–992.
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Keywords: driving; motion sickness; postural control

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2017

More about this publication?
  • This journal (formerly Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine), representing the members of the Aerospace Medical Association, is published monthly for those interested in aerospace medicine and human performance. It is devoted to serving and supporting all who explore, travel, work, or live in hazardous environments ranging from beneath the sea to the outermost reaches of space. The original scientific articles in this journal provide the latest available information on investigations into such areas as changes in ambient pressure, motion sickness, increased or decreased gravitational forces, thermal stresses, vision, fatigue, circadian rhythms, psychological stress, artificial environments, predictors of success, health maintenance, human factors engineering, clinical care, and others. This journal also publishes notes on scientific news and technical items of interest to the general reader, and provides teaching material and reviews for health care professionals.

    To access volumes 74 through 85, please click here.
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