Background: Motion sensitivity after vestibular disorders is associated with symptoms of nausea, dizziness, and imbalance in busy environments. Dizziness and imbalance are reported in places such as supermarkets and shopping malls which have unstable visual backgrounds; however, the mechanism of motion sensitivity is poorly understood. Objective: The main aim of this exploratory observational study is to investigate visual fixations and postural sway in response to increasingly complex visual environments in healthy adults and adults with motion sensitivity. Methods: A total of 20 healthy adults and 20 adults with motion sensitivity will be recruited for this study. Visual fixations, postural sway, and body kinematics will be measured with a mobile eye tracker device, force plate, and 3D motion capture system, respectively. Participants will be exposed to experimental tasks requiring visual fixation on letters, projected on a range of backgrounds on a large screen during quiet stance. Descriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation) will be calculated for each of the variables. One-way independent-measures analyses of variance will be performed to investigate the differences between groups for all variables. Results: Data collection was started in May 2019 and was completed by February 2020. It was approved by Health and Disability Ethics Committees, Ministry of Health, New Zealand on November 2, 2018 (Ethics ref: 18/CEN/193). We are currently processing the data and will begin data analysis in July 2020. We expect the results to be available for publication by the end of 2020. The trial was funded by the Neurology Special Interest Group, Physiotherapy New Zealand, and the Eisdell Moore Centre in November 2018. Conclusions: This study will provide a detailed investigation of visual fixations in response to increasingly complex visual environments. Investigating characteristics of visual fixations in healthy adults and those with motion sensitivity will provide insight into this disabling condition and may inform the development of new intervention strategies which explicitly cater to the needs of this population.
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