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On the potential of transauricular electrical stimulation to reduce visually induced motion sickness

Molefi, Emmanuel, McLoughlin, Ian Vince, Ramaswamy, Palaniappan (2023) On the potential of transauricular electrical stimulation to reduce visually induced motion sickness. Scientific Reports, 13 (1). Article Number 3272. ISSN 2045-2322. (doi:10.1038/s41598-023-29765-9) (KAR id:99987)


Perturbations in the autonomic nervous system occur in individuals experiencing increasing levels of motion sickness. Here, we investigated the effects of transauricular electrical stimulation (tES) on autonomic function during visually induced motion sickness, through the analysis of spectral and time-frequency heart rate variability. To determine the efficacy of tES, we compared sham and tES conditions in a randomized, within-subjects, cross-over design in 14 healthy participants. We found that tES reduced motion sickness symptoms by significantly increasing normalized high-frequency (HF) power and decreasing both normalized low-frequency (LF) power and the power ratio of LF and HF components (LF/HF ratio). Furthermore, behavioral data recorded using the motion sickness assessment questionnaire (MSAQ) showed significant differences in decreased symptoms during tES compared to sham condition for the total MSAQ scores and, central and sopite categories of the MSAQ. Our preliminary findings suggest that by administering tES, parasympathetic modulation is increased, and autonomic imbalance induced by motion sickness is restored. This study provides first evidence that tES may have potential as a non-pharmacological neuromodulation tool to keep motion sickness at bay. Thus, these findings may have implications towards protecting people from becoming motion sick and possible accelerated recovery from the malady.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/s41598-023-29765-9
Projects: DTP 2020-2021 University of Kent
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R858 Computer applications to medicine. Medical informatics. Medical information technology
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General) > TA165 Engineering instruments, meters etc. Industrial instrumentation
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (
Depositing User: Palaniappan Ramaswamy
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2023 18:50 UTC
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2024 10:57 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Molefi, Emmanuel.

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Ramaswamy, Palaniappan.

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