2011 volume 40(4) pages 493 – 496

Cite as:
Bonato F, Bubka A, Ishak S, Graveline V, 2011, "The sickening rug: A repeating static pattern that leads to motion-sickness-like symptoms" Perception 40(4) 493 – 496

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The sickening rug: A repeating static pattern that leads to motion-sickness-like symptoms

Frederick Bonato, Andrea Bubka, Shaziela Ishak, Veronica Graveline

Abstract. The nauseogenic properties of a patterned rug that reputedly caused motion-sickness-like symptoms in those who viewed it was the topic of this study. Naive observers viewed a 1:1 scale image of the black-and-white patterned rug and a homogeneous gray region of equivalent luminance in a counterbalanced within-subjects design. After 5 min of viewing, symptoms were assessed with the simulator sickness questionnaire (SSQ), yielding a total SSQ score and sub-scores for nausea, oculomotor symptoms, and disorientation. All four scores were significantly higher in the rug condition. Observers also reported significantly more self-motion perception in the rug condition, even though they were seated during the experiment. Results are consistent with findings that suggest that neurologically normal individuals who view a repeating static pattern can experience unpleasant symptoms, some of which are similar to motion sickness.

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