Coupling of postural activity with motion of a ship at sea

Manuel Varlet, Benoît G. Bardy, Fu Chen Chen, Cristina Alcantara, Thomas A. Stoffregen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

On land, body sway during stance becomes coupled with imposed oscillations of the illuminated environment or of the support surface. This coupling appears to have the function of stabilizing the body relative to the illuminated or inertial environment. In previous research, the stimulus has been limited to motion in a single axis. Little is known about our ability to couple postural activity with complex, multi-axis oscillations. On a ship at sea, we evaluated postural activity using measures of body movement, as such, and we separately evaluated a direct measure of coupling between body movement and ship motion. Participants were tested while facing fore-aft and athwartship. We compared postural activity between participants who had been seasick at the beginning of the voyage and those who had not. Coupling of postural activity with ship motion differed between body axes as a function of body orientation relative to the ship. In addition, coupling differed between participants who had been seasick at the beginning of the voyage and those who had not. We discuss the results in terms of implications for general theories of postural control, and for prediction of susceptibility to seasickness in individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1607-1616
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume233
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 22 2015

Keywords

  • Postural coordination
  • Seasickness
  • Spontaneous coordination
  • Vehicular travel

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