Human heart rate variability relation is unchanged during motion sickness

Thomas J. Mullen, Ronald D. Berger, Charles M. Oman, Richard J. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In a study of 18 human subjects, we applied a new technique, estimation of the transfer function between instantaneous lung volume (ILV) and instantaneous heart rate (HR), to assess autonomic activity during motion sickness. Two control recordings of ILV and electrocardiogram (ECG) were made prior to the development of motion sickness. During the first, subjects were seated motionless, and during the second they were seated rotating sinusoidally about an earth vertical axis. Subjects then wore prism goggles that reverse the left-right visual field and performed manual tasks until they developed moderate motion sickness. Finally, ILV and ECG were recorded while subjects maintained a relatively constant level of sickness by intermittent eye closure during rotation with the goggles. Based on analyses of ILV to HR transfer functions from the three conditions, we were unable to demonstrate a change in autonomic control of heart rate due to rotation alone or due to motion sickness. These findings do not support the notion that moderate motion sickness is manifested as a generalized autonomic response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Vestibular Research: Equilibrium and Orientation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Nausea and vomiting syndromes
  • Parasympathetic
  • Sympathetic
  • Transfer function estimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Human heart rate variability relation is unchanged during motion sickness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this