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Why Do Some People Not Suffer From Motion Sickness When Using VR While You Do?

Virtual reality’s capacity to transform our technological interactions is immense; however, some users still face persistent issues with motion sickness.

Those experiencing stomach aches can find the VR experience unpleasant. Scientists remain determined to find a resolution for this issue and explore why specific individuals have a higher tendency to experience motion sickness. Research has shown that the length of time a person spends playing VR games does not necessarily predict how severe their motion sickness will be. This research provides exciting possibilities for deriving ground-breaking insights on how to design and optimise VR experiences for all users.

Virtual reality experiences influence the verticality of one’s surroundings.

Disruption in a person’s sense of spatial orientation can lead to an inaccurate perception of their body position, compromising the individual’s ability to perceive their immediate surroundings accurately. Symptoms like nausea, dizziness, disorientation, and imbalance can arise from this condition. In the medical field, one effective method for diagnosing vertigo in patients is evaluating their visual vertical perception. Ophthalmologists utilise this technique to assess the way that each person sees vertical lines. If the perceived orientation is different from the actual reality, it can cause feelings of dizziness. This technique is a critical tool in diagnosing and treating vertigo symptoms in patients.

The Canadian University of Waterloo conducted a research study that utilised a unique technique to showcase the connection between an individual’s perception of motion sickness and their subjective visual vertical alteration. The study involved immersing participants in a rigorous VR game and observing their responses.

The crucial factor is your body’s capacity to adjust and acclimatise

The researchers collected data from 31 participants who were asked to play highly intense and less intense virtual reality games. The participants were evaluated before and after the games for their perception of vertical lines while lying on their sides. They were required to identify whether a line in their field of vision rotated clockwise or anticlockwise from the vertical position.

The results showed a significant change in subjective visual vertical perception after the virtual reality game. Interestingly, the participants who reported the least change in their perception experienced more nausea, particularly during the intense game. The study suggests that a person’s ability to quickly adapt their visual vertical perception is linked to a reduced likelihood of experiencing motion sickness.

The occurrence of motion sickness is not influenced by the virtual reality experience

The researchers found no discernible differences between genders concerning susceptibility to motion sickness. In addition, according to the investigation, being involved in VR did not notably affect the possibility of suffering from motion sickness. The researchers concluded that the reorientation of the body’s sensory system is the key factor contributing to motion sickness.

With this understanding, Barnett-Cowan suggests that VR developers can create more enjoyable and calming virtual environments for gamers. By considering individual differences in sensory processing, virtual reality experiences can be tailored to enhance user comfort and reduce the risk of motion sickness.

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