Artificial horizon effects on motion sickness and performance

Dror Tal, Adi Gonen, Guy Wiener, Ronen Bar, Amnon Gil, Zohar Nachum, Avi Shupak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypothesis: To investigate whether the projection of Earth-referenced scenes during provocative motion can alleviate motion sickness severity and prevent motion sickness-induced degradation of performance. Background: Exposure to unfamiliar motion patterns commonly results in motion sickness and decreased performance. Methods: Thirty subjects with moderate-to-severe motion sickness susceptibility were exposed to the recorded motion profile of a missile boat under moderate sea conditions in a 3-degrees-of-freedom ship motion simulator. During a 120-minute simulated voyage, the study participants were repeatedly put through a performance test battery and completed a motion sickness susceptibility questionnaire, while self-referenced and Earth-referenced visual scenes were projected inside the closed simulator cabin. Results: A significant decrease was found in the maximal motion sickness severity score, from 9.83 ± 9.77 (mean ± standard deviation) to 7.23 ± 7.14 (p < 0.03), when the visual display better approximated the full scale of the roll, pitch, and heave movements of the simulator. Although there was a significant decrease in sickness severity, substantial symptoms still persisted. Decision making, vision, concentration, memory, simple reasoning, and psychomotor skills all deteriorated under the motion conditions. However, no significant differences between the projection conditions could be found in the scores of any of the performance tests. Conclusion: Visual information regarding the vessel's movement provided by an artificial horizon device might decrease motion sickness symptoms. However, although this device might be suitable for passive transportation, the continued deterioration in performance measures indicates that it provides no significant advantage for personnel engaged in the active operation of modern vessels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)878-885
Number of pages8
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Motion sickness
  • Performance tests
  • Prevention
  • Vestibular organs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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