SCIENCE

The Cure For Motion Sickness? Just Lean In

Apr 22, 2015 at 11:45 AM ET

We’ve all had those nights where we’ve had one too many tequilla shots, and our Uber driver is getting a little acceleration-happy. Before you know it, you feel like you’re going to barf. Here’s the advice from the pros: lean forward.

Head movement in the direction the car is turning decreases the chances of motion sickness, according to a new study by neurological experts. Scientists found that when passengers lean forward, their heads are more likely to move in the direction in which the car is turning. Possibly it has something to do with a feeling of being more in control of the body, but that’s a hypothesis for another day.

Drivers have less motion sickness than their passengers, the study mentions, which makes perfect sense when you apply it to the turning theory. Drivers know which way the car is going to turn so they can compensate by turning their head that way in expectation for the inertia.

This is all derived from what the researchers call “a mathematical model of motion sickness incidence (MSI)” which is taken by “integrating neurophysiological knowledge of the vestibular system to predict the severity of motion sickness of humans.” In other words, trust the big words. The next time you’re afraid you might toss your cookies on your cab driver, just gather yourself and lean forward.

Read More

Passengers In Robotic Cars May Be Prone To Motion Sickness (Los Angeles Times)

Motion Sickness Still A Mystery For Scientists Studying Evolution’s Effects On Modern Travel (Medical Daily)