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Psychophysiology. 1992 Mar;29(2):193-201.

Effects of eating on vection-induced motion sickness, cardiac vagal tone, and gastric myoelectric activity.

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Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802.
Hershey Med Ctr, Hershey, PA


This study investigated the effect of food ingestion on motion sickness severity and its physiological mechanisms. Forty-six fasted subjects were assigned either to a meal group or to a no-meal group. Electrogastrographic (EGG) indices (normal 3 cpm activity and abnormal 4-9 cpm tachyarrhythmia) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) were measured before and after a meal and during a subsequent exposure to a rotating drum in which illusory self-motion was induced. The results indicated that food intake enhanced cardiac parasympathetic tone (RSA) and increased gastric 3 cpm activity. Postprandial effects on motion sickness severity remain equivocal due to group differences in RSA baseline levels. During drum rotation, dysrhythmic activity of the stomach (tachyarrhythmia) and vagal withdrawal were observed. Furthermore, high levels of vagal tone prior to drum rotation predicted a low incidence of motion sickness symptoms, and were associated positively with gastric 3 cpm activity and negatively with tachyarrhythmia. These data suggest that enhanced levels of parasympathetic activity can alleviate motion sickness symptoms by suppressing, in part, its dysrhythmic gastric underpinnings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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