Motion sickness, also known as travel sickness, has affected all of us as some point, whether on long journeys to see the family in the back of the car or clutching on for dear life to the handles of a rollercoaster, but for 30 per cent of the population the effects can be debilitating.
Motion sickness symptoms include nausea, dizziness, vomiting and heavy sweating, and although we are still unsure as to what causes such a severe effect, one popular theory is that confusing messages between the brain and the eyes and ears when moving causes the symptoms. Researchers at Imperial College London published a paper in the journal Neurology that suggests providing an electrical signal to dampen the brains responses to these signals can reduce the effect of motion sickness.
During the study, volunteers wearing electrodes on their head sat for 10 minutes in a chair that simulated travelling on a boat or rollercoaster (though it is clearly far less fun that a day out in Thorpe Park). Following the treatment, the volunteers felt less nauseous and recovered more quickly.
“We are confident that within five to ten years people will be able to walk into the chemist and buy an anti-seasickness device,” Says Dr Qadeer Arshad, who led the research.
He also has good news for anyone who loathes the idea of having to carry around bulky equipment on a cruise ship. “We hope it might even integrate with a mobile phone, which would be able to deliver the small amount of electricity required via the headphone jack.”
This should all come as great news to gamers, as anybody who has come close to the ‘barfogenic zone’ will agree.