Relationship between postural control and motion sickness in healthy subjects.

Owen N, Leadbetter AG, Yardley L

Department of Psychology, University College London, UK.

This study examined the relationship between reported susceptibility to motion sickness, anxious personality and postural control. Postural stability was assessed in 34 healthy subjects standing with eyes open, eyes closed and viewing a disorienting virtual reality display. These measures were repeated with vibration of the calf muscles to distort the somatosensory feedback from the legs. Susceptibility to motion sickness and anxious personality were evaluated by questionnaire. Greater postural instability was correlated with susceptibility to motion sickness. Motion sickness susceptibility correlated most strongly with increased sway when the visual and somatosensory feedback was absent or distorted. Anxiety was correlated with reported susceptibility to motion sickness but not with postural stability. These findings suggest that deficient perceptual-motor responses to disorienting conditions may contribute to motion sickness susceptibility.