How you can train your brain to reduce motion sickness

you can train your brain to reduce motion sickness
Credit: WMG/University of Warwick

With the concept of autonomous vehicles coming closer to our roads, the need to reduce motion sickness is more apparent than ever. It is expected that due to potential vehicle designs and people’s desire to engage in non-driving related tasks such as reading or watching films, motion sickness will be a significant factor for vehicle occupants.

Considering the number of people affected, relatively little research has been done into motion sickness, especially not into motion sickness and autonomous vehicles.

However, in the paper ‘A Novel Method for Reducing Motion Sickness Susceptibility through Training Visuospatial Ability – A Two-Part Study’, published in the journal Applied Ergonomics, researchers from WMG, University of Warwick have been successful in reducing motion sickness.

In the project, researchers have found by using visuospatial training you can essentially train the brain to reduce motion sickness by over 50%.

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Participants in the study went in either the WMG 3xD simulator for a driving simulator trial, or on an on-road trial where they were driven around as passengers, imitating what it would be like to be in an autonomous vehicle.

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After their first run, participants completed various pen-and-paper visuospatial training tasks, once per day for 15 minutes per day, for 2 weeks… After the training period, participants took part in another motion sickness assessment and it was recorded that motion sickness reduced by 51% in the driving simulator, and 58% in the on-road trial.

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