Oct 23 - Dr. Behrang Keshavarz

Motion Sickness in VR: Causes, Characteristics, and Treatments


Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are highly valuable tools in a multitude of areas, including training, teaching, research, and rehabilitation. Despite several benefits, the use of VR applications has been frequently associated with adverse effects, such as nausea, disorientation, dizziness, or oculomotor issues. These side effects are typically referred to as visually induced motion sickness (VIMS), a phenomenon similar to traditional motion sickness. The rate of VIMS can be as high as 60% in some cases, posing a serious health concern for VR users and jeopardizing the success of VR technologies. In his presentation, Dr. Keshavarz will provide an overview of common causes and characteristics of VIMS and will discuss non-pharmacological methods to reduce this sensation.


Dr. Keshavarz is a scientist at KITE, the research arm of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute–University Health Network, and an assistant professor (adjunct) in the Department of Psychology at Ryerson University, Toronto. He received his PhD in cognitive and experimental psychology from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, in 2012. Dr. Keshavarz’s research combines modern Virtual Reality (VR) technologies with traditional behavioural and neuro-cognitive measures to investigate human cognition, perception, and performance. His research focuses on adverse effects associated with the use of VR applications (e.g., nausea, dizziness, or disorientation), a phenomenon commonly referred to as visually induced motion sickness. In addition, Dr. Keshavarz uses neuro-cognitive and behavioural measures to explore the sensation of self-motion in VR and is involved in KITE’s driving simulation program. Overall, his research has a strong applied component and provides a balance between theory and application.