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Aviat Space Environ Med. 1986 Mar;57(3):229-35.

The effective intensity of Coriolis, cross-coupling stimulation is gravitoinertial force dependent: implications for space motion sickness.

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Brandeis U, Waltham, MA

Erratum in

  • Aviat Space Environ Med 1986 Aug;57(8):807.


Coriolis, cross-coupled angular acceleration stimulation readily induces motion sickness under terrestrial conditions. Nevertheless, the Skylab astronauts, when tested with such stimulation in-flight, were insusceptible even though each had been susceptible pre-flight. It is unclear whether this decreased susceptibility was the consequence of in-flight adaptation or in part the result of immediate changes in sensory-motor and vestibulo-motor function that occur during exposure to microgravity conditions. To evaluate this issue, we have tested individuals both in the high and low force phases of parabolic flight maneuvers using constant levels of Coriolis, cross-coupled stimulation. Our findings indicate that 1.) subjects are less susceptible when tested in 0 G than +2 Gz; 2.) the perceived intensity and provocativeness of Coriolis stimulation decreases in 0 G and increases in +2 Gz relative to +1 Gz baseline values; and 3.) changes in the apparent intensity of Coriolis stimulation occur virtually immediately when background gravitoinertial force level is varied. These findings explain in large part why the Skylab astronauts were refractory to motion sickness during Coriolis stimulation in-flight. The general implications for space motion sickness are discussed.

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