The Sickening Rug: A Repeating Static Pattern That Leads to Motion-Sickness-like Symptoms
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.
- Received September 19, 2010.
- Revision received March 31, 2011.
- © 2011 SAGE Publications