Control of a Virtual Avatar Influences Postural Activity and Motion Sickness

Yi Chou Chen, Xiao Dong, Fu Chen Chen, Thomas A. Stoffregen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The influence of vehicular control on motion sickness has implications for theories of motion sickness etiology. We asked whether motion sickness susceptibility might also be related to the control of non-vehicular locomotion. Participants were exposed to a console video game that featured ambulatory locomotion of a virtual avatar. In a yoked control design, individuals either played the game (players) or watched another participant's recorded game play (viewers). Viewers were more likely than players to report motion sickness. During exposure to the video game players moved more than viewers, and the movement of players was more predictable or self-similar than the movement of viewers. Coupling of movement within player-viewer pairs was greater for pairs in which the viewer later reported motion sickness than for pairs in which both participants stated that they were not motion sick. The results reveal that motion sickness incidence can be influenced by the control of stimulus motion, in general, and is not limited to control of vehicular motion. We discuss implications of these findings for theories of motion sickness etiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-299
Number of pages21
JournalEcological Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012


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