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Aviat Space Environ Med. 2013 Mar;84(3):177-83.

Motion sickness prevention by an 8-Hz stroboscopic environment during air transport.

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  • 1U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, PO Box 620577, Fort Rucker, AL 36362, USA.



Previous research has shown that retinal slip can be a significant factor in causing motion sickness. Stroboscopic illumination may prevent retinal slip by providing snapshots of the visual environment that are brief enough so each image is stationary on the retina.


The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an 8-Hz stroboscopic environment as a motion sickness countermeasure for passengers during a nauseogenic flight in a helicopter. The study population was comprised of 18 motion sickness susceptible subjects. Subjects completed a motion sickness symptom questionnaire, a psychomotor vigilance test, weapons utilization tasks, a time estimation task, and a sustained attention task after nauseogenic flights with and without 8-Hz stroboscopic illumination in the cabin.


Baseline-corrected scores of self-reported nausea were significantly lower after the stroboscopic condition (M = 36.57 +/- 6.95) than the nonstroboscopic condition (M = 50.88 +/- 7.36). Furthermore, the stroboscopic condition resulted in significantly better performance on the vigilance task than the nonstroboscopic condition. However, baseline-corrected scores of oculomotor symptoms were greater after the stroboscopic condition (M = 33.27 +/- 5.52) than the nonstroboscopic condition (M = 24.85 +/- 4.10).


These results support the use of stroboscopic illumination as a nonpharmacologic countermeasure for motion sickness related to retinal slip. However, due to the uncontrolled nature of the flights, the possibility that these results could have been influenced by differences in motion between flights cannot be excluded. This technology should be investigated in other forms of transportation (i.e., ground vehicles).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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