Date of Award

3-2013

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems

Department

Human Factors and Systems

Committee Chair

Jon French, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Mustapha Mouloua, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Albert Boquest, Ph.D.

Third Committee Member

Robert S. Kennedy, Ph.D.

Abstract

The focus of this study was designed to empirically examine the effect of inducing mild motion sickness as an ameliorative to a more severe motion sickness exposure. Twenty-seven participants were selected for this study based upon their susceptibility to motion sickness, that is, only people who were determined to be motion susceptible were tested. All participants were exposed to a motion sickness-inducing environment. Eighteen participants were trained to adapt to motion sickness by exposure to a milder motion sickness-inducing environment, ending either 6 hours or 24 hours prior to the more severe motion test environment.

Participants during the pre-exposure experimental conditions were trained to perform a mild motion sickness procedure, the Coriolis illusion. Following this training period, all participants were exposed to the motion sickness testing environment; the optokinetic drum. Tests results were measured subjectively through a conventional motion sickness questionnaire and objectively through the use of a cognitive test, balance tests, and salivary markers for cortisol and amylase. A series of statistical analyses were conducted to compare the no motion pre-exposure condition to the other mild pre-exposure conditions in their measures from the motion sickness testing environment using both parametric and non-parametric tests. Based upon prior research, it was hypothesized that the subjective responses, cognitive performance, and biomarkers for motion sickness would decrease and balance would increase for the 6 and 12 hour exposures relative to the no pre-exposure condition.

The results indicated that the SSQ, Cortisol levels, SSS, and Finger to Nose Test were the only measures that captured the onset of motion sickness, and the SSQ was the only measure that identified any difference between training and non training groups. The SSQ indicated that recovery from motion sickness occurred at a faster rate following OKD exposure if the participant had training prior to exposure. No differences in symptoms were shown between the 6 hour and 24 hour training groups. The results may help to identify a more effective countermeasure to improve perceptual training in motion sickness inducing environments. Theoretical and practical implications are also presented.

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