Torsional vestibulo-ocular reflex measurements for identifying otolith asymmetries possibly related to space motion sickness susceptibility

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Recent studies by Diamond and Markham1,2 have identified significant correlations between space motion sickness susceptibility and measures of disconjugate torsional eye movements recorded during parabolic flights. These results support an earlier proposal by von Baumgarten and Thümler3 which hypothesized that an asymmetry of otolith function between the two ears is the cause of space motion sickness. It may be possible to devise experiments that can be performed in the 1 g environment on earth that could identify and quantify the presence of asymmetric otolith function. This paper summarizes the known physiological and anatomical properties of the otolith organs and the properties of the torsional vestibulo-ocular reflex which are relevant to the design of a stimulus to identify otolith asymmetries. A specific stimulus which takes advantage of these properties is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalActa Astronautica
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering

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