Date of Award

Spring 2012

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.

First Committee Member

Albert Bouquet, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Cass D. Howell, Ed.D.

Abstract

Symptoms of motion sickness can be disruptive to human performance. If vection-induced motion sickness symptoms, sleep amount disruptions, and worsening of cognitive performance can be measured and characterized, there are practical implications for equipment design, especially for virtual reality devices and simulators. The researcher conducted three studies. The first study examined the effects of different rotation speeds (0 RPM, 5 RPM, and 10 RPM) of the optokinetic drum on motion sickness symptoms. Motion sickness symptoms were measured using the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ). Before exposure to the optokinetic drum, participants were not significantly different from one another in terms of motion sickness symptoms. During exposure to the optokinetic drum, the 5 and 10 RPM conditions experienced significantly more motion sickness symptoms than the 0 RPM condition. Comparing the 5 and 10 RPM conditions during the time of exposure to the optokinetic drum, the 5 and 10 RPM conditions were not significantly different from each other most of the time, with minor exceptions, where the 10 RPM condition induced significantly more motion sickness symptoms than the 5 RPM condition. The second study examined the effects of different rotation speeds of the optokinetic drum and time on cognitive performance. Cognitive performance was measured using the Switching test of the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics. Cognitive performance, accuracy and mean reaction time were not affected by exposure to the optokinetic drum. The third study examined the effects of different rotation speeds of the optokinetic drum and time on sleep amount. Sleep amount was measured using actigraphs and sleep logs. Sleep amount was not affected by exposure to the optokinetic drum. This project shows that the optokinetic drum is an effective tool to induce and study motion sickness symptoms. Future studies may use the optokinetic drum as a tool to study preventive measures against motion sickness in various environments.

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