The application of virtual reality technology to testing resistance to motion sickness.
Background. Prolonged exposure to moving images in virtual reality systems can cause virtual reality induced motion sickness (VIMS). The ability to resist motion sickness may be associated with the level of vestibular function development. objective. The aim of the present research is to study the oculomotor characteristics of individuals whose observation of moving virtual environments causes the VIMS effect. We hypothesized that people who have a robust vestibular function as a result of their professional activity, are less susceptible to VIMS than people who have no such professional abilities. The differences in people’s abilities to resist the effects of the virtual environment may be revealed in the oculomotor characteristics registered during their interaction with a virtual environment.
Design. Figure skaters, football players, wushu fighters, and non-trained people were tested. e CAVE virtual reality system was used to initiate the VIMS effect. three virtual scenes were constructed consisting of many bright balls moving as a whole around the observer. e scenes differed in the width of the visual field; all balls subtended either 45°, 90° or 180°.
Results. The results showed more active eye movements for athletes compared to non-trained people, i.e. an increase in blink, fixation, and saccade counts. A decrease in saccadic amplitudes was revealed for figure skaters. These characteristics were considered specific indicators of the athletes’ ability to resist motion sickness.
Conclusions. It was found that the strength of the VIMS effect increased with the increasing width of the visual field. The effectiveness of virtual reality and eye-tracking technologies to test the VIMS effect was demonstrated.
Themes: Cognitive psychology
Keywords: virtual reality technology, motion sickness, vestibular dysfunction, vection illusion, eye movement characteristics, professional abilities of athletes