Motion sickness (MS) is a common experience of travelers. To provide insights into brain dynamics associated with MS, this study recruited 19 subjects to participate in an electroencephalogram (EEG) experiment in a virtual-reality driving environment. When riding on consecutive winding roads, subjects experienced postural instability and sensory conflict between visual and vestibular stimuli. Meanwhile, subjects rated their level of MS on a six-point scale. Independent component analysis (ICA) was used to separate the filtered EEG signals into maximally temporally independent components (ICs). Then, reduced logarithmic spectra of ICs of interest, using principal component analysis, were decomposed by ICA again to find spectrally fixed and temporally independent modulators (IMs). Results demonstrated that a higher degree of MS accompanied increased activation of alpha (r = 0.421) and gamma (r = 0.478) IMs across remote-independent brain processes, covering motor, parietal and occipital areas. This co-modulatory spectral change in alpha and gamma bands revealed the neurophysiological demand to regulate conflicts among multi-modal sensory systems during MS.
- motion sickness
- sensory conflict theory