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Date of Award

Summer 2007

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems

Department

Human Factors and Systems

Committee Chair

Jonathan French, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Albert Boquet, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Charles Moren, M.S.

Abstract

When pilots are unable to accurately perceive the position and motion of their bodies, they are spatially disoriented. Spatial disorientation is often induced by aviation illusions, and its consequences include dizziness, confusion, nausea and fatigue. The present research evaluated the severity of cognitive, neuroendocrine and subjective symptoms of the Coriolis illusion, induced by a spatial disorientation flight training device. Also, the research examined the effectiveness of a mild, ground-based countermeasure, similar to the Coriolis illusion, in reducing the occurrence and severity of symptoms. In the early stages of data analysis, there appeared to be a significant impact of the Coriolis illusion on cognitive performance and subjective reports of disorientation. However, when more powerful detailed were conducted, no significant impact of the Coriolis illusion was found. Therefore, conclusions regarding the effectiveness of the countermeasure or the duration of the symptoms could not be made.

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