Sep 15, 2020
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Brain training helps to cope with motion sickness in the car

Scientists have proposed a new remedy for motion sickness. It turned out that solving problems of a certain kind helps the body to perceive trips in transport more calmly.

Andrey Ukrainian

Solving visuospatial problems helped study participants to better cope with motion sickness. Scientists from the University of Warwick told about this in Applied ergonomics...

Kinetosis, motion sickness syndrome or simply motion sickness is a condition that is familiar to almost everyone. It can be encountered in many types of transport and even in virtual reality. There is speculation that with the advent of self-driving cars, the problem of motion sickness may become even more common. But apart from a few medications, the arsenal for fighting kinetosis is very narrow.

The new study involved 42 people. In the first stage of the study, they all went through a virtual car ride in the role of a passenger. The passenger is considered to have a much higher risk of motion sickness than the driver. The experiment used a simulation of an unmanned vehicle. After the experiment, the participants rated the degree of motion sickness they felt.

Then the participants were divided into two groups. One group was given a two-week rest, while subjects from the second group did visual-spatial training every day. The latter consisted in solving problems on paper that are associated with the spatial relationship of objects. An example of such a task can be the identification of objects from different angles.

The virtual ride test was repeated two weeks later. In the resting control group, the group of participants was rocked about as badly as the first time. But those who "exercised their brains" felt better: they reported an average of 51% relief from motion sickness in simulation and 58% in real life.

The mechanism of action of "brain training" is not exactly known. Scientists theorize that visuospatial training helps the body resolve the conflict between how movement is perceived by the eyes and felt by the organ of balance.

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