Professor John Golding, Professor of Psychology, was interviewed by OneZero on VR experiences and motion sickness.
VR experiences can make some people feel nauseous and ill, causing an obstacle for many players, regardless the improvements put in place by developers.
Professor Golding explained the reason why some players might experience symptoms of motion sickness when using VR. “The sensory conflict is between what your eyes are telling you is happening — moving in a virtual space, and what your inner ear and joints are telling you is happening — you’re still. That’s when there’s a mismatch.”
He added: “If you move your head with a VR headset on, the sensors know you’re moving, and so refresh, so what you’re seeing looks real. Your vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) computes, based on your inner ear, where your eyes should move and sends messages to your eyes, which will move to stabilize your vision. But if the VR world doesn’t keep up, there’s a problem.
“The VR headset told you objects are a mile away, but they’re being projected from something half an inch away. If the angles of the images aren’t exactly right, the eyes will adjust their musculature very slightly, causing strain and headaches.”