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The Head-Neck Sensory Motor System$
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Alain Berthoz, Werner Graf, and P. P. Vidal

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195068207

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195068207.001.0001

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Gravitational, Inertial, and Coriolis Force Influences on Nystagmus, Motion Sickness, and Perceived Head Trajectory

Gravitational, Inertial, and Coriolis Force Influences on Nystagmus, Motion Sickness, and Perceived Head Trajectory

Chapter:
(p.216) Chapter 33 Gravitational, Inertial, and Coriolis Force Influences on Nystagmus, Motion Sickness, and Perceived Head Trajectory
Source:
The Head-Neck Sensory Motor System
Author(s):

James R. Lackner

Paul DiZio

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195068207.003.0033

An intricate pattern of stimulation is generated when a rotating individual tilts his head about an axis that is not parallel to the axis of rotation. His semicircular canals undergo cross-coupled angular accelerations, and his head and otolith organs are exposed to a Coriolis force. Such head movements elicit nystagmus, motion sickness symptoms, and disorientation. The disorientation has two major components: during the head movement, the individual will misperceive the actual trajectory of his head in relation to his torso, and for some time afterward, he will have a confusing illusion that his whole body is rotating. If an individual seated at the center of the platform rotating counterclockwise at constant angular velocity tilts his head backward, then his yaw canal receives a clockwise velocity impulse because it loses angular momentum on moving out of the plane of rotation.

Keywords:   Coriolis force, nystagmus, motion sickness, disorientation, angular velocity, tilt

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