Motion sickness is a condition in which a disagreement exists between visually perceived movement and the vestibular system's sense of movement. Depending on the cause, it can also be referred to as seasickness, car sickness, simulation sickness or airsickness. Dizziness, fatigue and nausea are the most common symptoms of motion sickness. Sopite syndrome, in which a person feels fatigue or tiredness, is also associated with motion sickness. "Nausea" in Greek means seasickness (naus means ship). If the motion causing nausea is not resolved, the sufferer will usually vomit. Vomiting often will not relieve the feeling of weakness and nausea, which means the person might continue to vomit until the cause of the nausea is treated.
2.1 Motion is felt but not seen
2.1.1 Car sickness
2.1.2 Air sickness
2.1.3 Sea sickness
2.2 Motion that is seen but not felt
2.2.1 Films and other video 2.2.2 Virtual reality 2.2.3 Space sickness
2.3 Motions that are seen and felt but do not correspond
3.1 Devices 3.2 Activity 3.3 Medication 3.4 Electronic
4 References 5 External links
Cause The most common hypothesis for the cause of motion sickness is that it functions as a defense mechanism against neurotoxins. The area postrema in the brain is responsible for inducing vomiting when poisons are detected, and for resolving conflicts between vision and balance. When feeling motion but not seeing it (for example, in a ship with no windows), the inner ear transmits to the brain that it senses motion, but the eyes tell the brain that everything is still. As a result of the discordance, the brain will come to the conclusion that the individual is hallucinating and further conclude that the hallucination is due to poison ingestion. The brain responds by inducing vomiting, to clear the supposed toxin. Treisman's indirect argument has recently been questioned via an alternative direct evolutionary hypothesis, as well as modified and extended via a direct poison hypothesis. The direct evolutionary hypothesis essentially argues that there are plausible means by which ancient real or apparent motion could have contributed directly to the evolution of aversive reactions, without the need for the co-opting of a poison response as posited by Treisman. Nevertheless, the direct poison hypothesis argues that there still are plausible ways in which the body's poison response system may have played a role in shaping the evolution of some of the signature symptoms that characterize motion sickness. An alternative theory, also known as the Nystagmus Hypothesis, has been proposed based on stimulation of the vagus nerves resulting from the stretching or traction of extra-ocular muscles  co-occurring with eye movements caused by vestibular stimulation. There are three critical aspects to the theory: first is the close linkage between activity in the vestibular system, i.e., semicircular canals and otolith organs, and a change in tonus among various of each eye's six extra-ocular muscles. Thus, with the exception of voluntary eye movements, the vestibular and oculomotor systems are thoroughly linked. Second is the operation of Sherrington's Law describing reciprocal inhibition between agonist-antagonist muscle pairs, and by implication the stretching of extraocular muscle that must occur whenever Sherrington's Law is made to fail, thereby causing an unrelaxed (contracted) muscle to be stretched. Finally there is the critical presence of afferent output to the Vagus nerves as a direct result of eye muscle stretch or traction. Thus, 10th nerve stimulation resulting from eye muscle stretch is proposed as the cause of motion sickness. The theory explains why labyrinthine-defective individuals are immune to motion sickness; why symptoms emerge when undergoing various body-head accelerations; why combinations of voluntary and reflexive eye movements may challenge the proper operation of Sherrington's Law, and why many drugs that suppress eye movements also serve to suppress motion sickness symptoms. Susceptibility Roughly one third of the population are highly susceptible to motion sickness and most of the rest may get motion sickness under extreme conditions. Several factors influence susceptibility to motion sickness. Statistics indicate that women are more likely to be affected than men and that the risk decreases with advancing age. There is some evidence that people with Asian ancestry get motion sickness more frequently compared with people of European ancestry, and there are situational and behavioral factors, such as whether a passenger has a view of the road ahead, and diet and eating behavior. Types Motion sickness can be divided into three categories:
Motion sickness caused by motion that is felt but not seen Motion sickness caused by motion that is seen but not felt Motion sickness caused when both systems detect motion but they do not correspond.
Motion is felt but not seen In these cases, motion is sensed by the vestibular system and hence the motion is felt, but no motion or little motion is detected by the visual system. Car sickness
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A specific form of motion sickness, car sickness, is quite common and
evidenced by intolerance for reading a map or book during travel. Car
sickness results from the sensory conflict arising in the brain from
differing sensory inputs.
Motion sickness is caused by a conflict
between signals arriving in the brain from the inner ear, which forms
the base of the vestibular system, the sensory apparatus that deals
with movement and balance, and which detects motion mechanically. If
someone is looking at a stationary object within a vehicle, such as a
magazine, their eyes will inform their brain that what they are
viewing is not moving. Their inner ears, however, will contradict this
by sensing the motion of the vehicle. Varying theories exist as to
cause. One suggests the eyes view motion while riding in the moving
vehicle while other body sensors sense stillness, creating conflict
between the eyes and inner ear. Another suggests the eyes mostly see
the interior of the car which is motionless while the vestibular
system of the inner ear senses motion as the vehicle goes around
corners or over hills and even small bumps. Therefore, the effect is
worse when looking down but may be lessened by looking outside of the
In the early 20th century, Austro-Hungarian scientist Robert Barany
observed the back and forth movement of the eyes of railroad
passengers as they looked out the side windows at the scenery whipping
by. He called it "railway nystagmus." Also called "optokinetic
nystagmus." It causes nausea and vomiting. His findings were published
in the journal Laeger, 83:1516, Nov.17, 1921.
Main article: Airsickness
Air sickness is a sensation which is induced by air travel. It is a
specific form of motion sickness and is considered a normal response
in healthy individuals. It is essentially the same as car sickness but
occurs in an aeroplane. However, some significant differences are that
an aeroplane may bank and tilt sharply and due to the small window
sizes, and unless the passenger is at a window seat, is likely to see
only the stationary interior of the plane. Another factor is that
while in flight, the view out of windows may be blocked by clouds,
preventing a passenger at the window from seeing the moving ground or
moving lower clouds.
Sea sickness is a form of motion sickness characterized by a feeling
of nausea and, in extreme cases, vertigo experienced after spending
time on a craft on water. It is essentially the same as car
sickness, though the motion of a watercraft tends to be more regular.
It is typically brought on by the rocking motion of the craft
or movement while immersed in water. As with air sickness, it can
be difficult to visually detect motion even if one looks outside of
the boat as water does not offer fixed points with which to visually
judge motion. Poor visibility conditions, such as fog, may worsen sea
sickness. Some sufferers of car sickness are resistant to sea sickness
and vice versa.
Rotating devices such as centrifuges used in astronaut training and
amusement park rides such as the Rotor, Mission: Space and the
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One common suggestion is to simply look out of the window of the
moving vehicle and to gaze towards the horizon in the direction of
travel. This helps to re-orient the inner sense of balance by
providing a visual reaffirmation of motion.
In the night, or in a ship without windows, it is helpful to simply
close one's eyes, or if possible, take a nap. This resolves the input
conflict between the eyes and the inner ear. Napping also helps
prevent psychogenic effects (i.e. the effect of sickness being
magnified by thinking about it).
Fresh, cool air can also relieve motion sickness slightly, although it
is likely this is related to avoiding foul odors which can worsen
While playing computer games, and mainly in first-person shooter
games, some cases of simulation sickness can be resolved by changing
the field of view in the game. Some games have a default setting which
places a player's vision a small distance ahead of the actual object
controlled, which will most likely trigger simulation sickness.
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National Advanced Driving Simulator
V · T · D
ICD-10: T75.3 ICD-9-CM: 994.6 OMIM: 158280 MeSH: D009041 DiseasesDB: 11908
Look up motion sickness in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Media related to Motion sickness at Wikimedia Commons Davis, Christopher J.; Lake-Bakaar, Gerry V.; Grahame-Smith, David G. (6 December 2012). Nausea and Vomiting: Mechanisms and Treatment. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 123. ISBN 978-3-642-70479-6. Motion Sickness from MedlinePlus Visually induced motion sickness research Motion Sickness Educational Video
v t e
Space adaptation syndrome
Dramamine Bonine Marezine Promethazine Transdermscop
Bárány chair Sickness bag
v t e
Consequences of external causes (T66–T78, 990–995)
Hyperthermia Heat syncope
Hypothermia Immersion foot syndromes
Trench foot Tropical immersion foot Warm water immersion foot
Chilblains Frostbite Aerosol burn Cold intolerance Acrocyanosis Erythrocyanosis crurum
Radiation poisoning Radiation burn Chronic radiation keratosis Eosinophilic, polymorphic, and pruritic eruption associated with radiotherapy Radiation acne Radiation-induced cancer Radiation recall reaction Radiation-induced erythema multiforme Radiation-induced hypertrophic scar Radiation-induced keloid Radiation-induced morphea
Aerosinusitis Decompression sickness
Altitude sickness Chronic mountain sickness HAPE HACE
Physical abuse Sexual abuse Psychological abuse
Motion sickness Seasickness Airsickness Space adaptation syndrome
Anaphylaxis Angioedema Allergy Arthus reaction
Adverse drug reaction
Electric shock Drowning Lightning injuries
Ungrouped skin conditions resulting from physical factors
Dermatosis neglecta Pinch mark Pseudoverrucous papules and nodules Sclerosing lymphangitis Tropical anhidrotic asthenia UV-sensitive syndrome
environmental skin conditions Electrical burn frictional/traumatic/sports
Black heel and palm Equestrian perniosis Jogger's nipple Pulling boat hands Runner's rump Surfer's knots Tennis toe Vibration white finger Weathering nodule of ear Wrestler's ear Coral cut Painful fat herniation
Skin pop scar Skin track Slap mark Pseudoacanthosis nigricans Narcoti