Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate how motion sickness, triggered by an optokinetic drum, affects short term memory performance and to explore autonomic responses to perceived motion sickness.
Background: Previous research has found motion sickness to decrease performance, but it is not known how short term memory in particular is affected.
Method: Thirty-eight healthy participants performed a listening span test while seated in a rotating optokinetic drum. Measurements of motion sickness, performance, heart rate, skin conductance, blood volume pulse, and pupil size were performed simultaneously throughout the experiment.
Results: A total of 16 participants terminated the trial due to severe nausea, while the other 22 endured the full 25 minutes. Perceived motion sickness increased over time in both groups, but less among those who endured the trial. Short term memory performance decreased towards the end for those who terminated, while it increased for the other group. Results from the measured autonomic responses were ambiguous.
Conclusion: The present study concludes that performance, measured as short term memory, declines as perceived motion sickness progresses.
Application: This research has potential implications for command and control personnel in risk of developing motion sickness.
2009. Vol. 51, no 1, 56-66 p.