Conference Proceeding

Can Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation Reduce Simulator Adaptation Syndrome?

  • Rebecca J Reed-Jones (University of Guelph, Canada)
  • Brian H Reed-Jones (University of Guelph, Canada)
  • Lana M Trick (University of Guelph, Canada)
  • Lori A Vallis (University of Guelph, Canada)


Electrical stimulation of the vestibular sensory system during virtual environment simulations has been proposed as a method to reduce the incidence of simulator adaptation syndrome (SAS). However, there is limited empirical evidence to support this hypothesis. It is especially important to provide vestibular stimulation in driving simulators because an absence of vestibular cues may alter driver behaviour and reduce vehicle control. This study examined the application of galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) as a technique to reduce symptoms of SAS and improve vehicular control in a fixed-based driving simulator. Nineteen participants drove two visually distinct virtual environments (high and low visual cues). In addition, each of these worlds was experienced with and without GVS. Post-drive scores on the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ) were used to evaluate the effect of GVS on SAS. In addition, three driving variables were measured to examine driving performance: steering variability, lane departures, and average vehicular speed. GVS application while driving resulted in significant decreases in total SSQ and disorientation symptoms. Greater vehicular control was also observed (as shown by reduced steering variability) when GVS was used in combination with visual cues along the simulated edge of the road. These results support that GVS may be used in fixed-base driving simulators to create vestibular motion cues and reduce SAS.

How to Cite:

Reed-Jones, R. & Reed-Jones, B. & Trick, L. & Vallis, L., (2007) “Can Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation Reduce Simulator Adaptation Syndrome?”, Driving Assessment Conference 4(2007), 534-540. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2007 the author(s)

Publisher Notes

  • Honda Outstanding Student Paper Award

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Published on
12 Jul 2007
Peer Reviewed