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Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2017 Oct 1;88(10):903-910. doi: 10.3357/AMHP.4817.2017.

Orientation Preferences and Motion Sickness Induced in a Virtual Reality Environment.



Astronauts' orientation preferences tend to correlate with their susceptibility to space motion sickness (SMS). Orientation preferences appear universally, since variable sensory cue priorities are used between individuals. However, SMS susceptibility changes after proper training, while orientation preferences seem to be intrinsic proclivities. The present study was conducted to investigate whether orientation preferences change if susceptibility is reduced after repeated exposure to a virtual reality (VR) stimulus environment that induces SMS.


A horizontal supine posture was chosen to create a sensory context similar to weightlessness, and two VR devices were used to produce a highly immersive virtual scene. Subjects were randomly allocated to an experimental group (trained through exposure to a provocative rotating virtual scene) and a control group (untrained). All subjects' orientation preferences were measured twice with the same interval, but the experimental group was trained three times during the interval, while the control group was not.


Trained subjects were less susceptible to SMS, with symptom scores reduced by 40%. Compared with untrained subjects, trained subjects' orientation preferences were significantly different between pre- and posttraining assessments. Trained subjects depended less on visual cues, whereas few subjects demonstrated the opposite tendency.


Results suggest that visual information may be inefficient and unreliable for body orientation and stabilization in a rotating visual scene, while reprioritizing preferences for different sensory cues was dynamic and asymmetric between individuals. The present findings should facilitate customization of efficient and proper training for astronauts with different sensory prioritization preferences and dynamic characteristics.Chen W, Chao J-G, Zhang Y, Wang J-K, Chen X-W, Tan C. Orientation preferences and motion sickness induced in a virtual reality environment. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2017; 88(10):903-910.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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