Side Effects of Virtual Environments: A Review of the Literature
DEFENCE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANISATION CANBERRA (AUSTRALIA)
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Cybersickness symptoms are the unintended psychophysiological side effects of participation in virtual environments. Symptoms can occur both during and after participation, thus having implications for health and safety, user acceptance, and overall system effectiveness. Just as for other visually induced motion sickness, cybersickness is believed to result from sensory and perceptual mismatches between the visual and vestibular systems, and can be considered as a problem of adaptation to altered environments. Symptoms can be grouped into three dimensions nausea, disorientation or postural instability, and visual symptoms. Numerous factors relating to the individual participants, the virtual reality system and virtual environment used, and the task carried out, can affect either incidence or severity of cybersickness. Taking account of these factors may avoid or minimize symptoms. This report reviews the literature on cybersickness, simulator sickness, and the relevant research on motion sickness, considers measures that have been proposed to manage and treat cybersickness, and identifies areas where more research is needed.
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