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Emotions are associated with the genesis of visually induced motion sickness in virtual reality

  • Visually induced motion sickness (VIMS) is a well-known side effect of virtual reality (VR) immersion, with symptoms including nausea, disorientation, and oculomotor discomfort. Previous studies have shown that pleasant music, odor, and taste can mitigate VIMS symptomatology, but the mechanism by which this occurs remains unclear. We predicted that positive emotions influence the VIMS-reducing effects. To investigate this, we conducted an experimental study with 68 subjects divided into two groups. The groups were exposed to either positive or neutral emotions before and during the VIMS-provoking stimulus. Otherwise, they performed exactly the same task of estimating the time-to-contact while confronted with a VIMS-provoking moving starfield stimulation. Emotions were induced by means of pre-tested videos and with International Affective Picture System (IAPS) images embedded in the starfield simulation. We monitored emotion induction before, during, and after the simulation, using the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM) valence and arousal scales. VIMS was assessed before and after exposure using the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ) and during simulation using the Fast Motion Sickness Scale (FMS) and FMS-D for dizziness symptoms. VIMS symptomatology did not differ between groups, but valence and arousal were correlated with perceived VIMS symptoms. For instance, reported positive valence prior to VR exposure was found to be related to milder VIMS symptoms and, conversely, experienced symptoms during simulation were negatively related to subjects’ valence. This study sheds light on the complex and potentially bidirectional relationship of VIMS and emotions and provides starting points for further research on the use of positive emotions to prevent VIMS.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Mara Kaufeld, Julia Bourdeinik, Lisa Marie Prinz, Martin Mundt, Heiko Hecht
Parent Title (English):Experimental Brain Research
First Page:2757
Last Page:2771
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg
Date of first publication:2022/09/06
Copyright:© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Funding:Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. Since the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics receives a basic funding from the Federal Ministry of Defence, our work was partially supported by these funds.
Keyword:Positive emotions; Simulator sickness; Visually induced motion sickness; virtual reality
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Entry in this database:2022/09/09
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International