Why do moving objects on a screen make us dizzy?

Remember that seen in Disney’s Aladdin? The scene where the magic carpet is first released, the cave of wonders goes wild and we get to see Aladdin ride the carpet through bunch of mazes and obsticles in the cave?

Well, watching that made me feel as though I were actually riding the carpet. I could really feel the G’s mounting up as it twisted and turned all the way around.

But it was just a simulation, right? So how the hell did this “realistic” feeling of being made dizzy occur, considering I hadn’t moved an inch throughout the whole scene?

How does it work on any simulation?

Since dizzyness is caused by the fluid in our ear canals moving for a short space of time after we have stopped, should this feeling be (in theory) impossible?

It’s because your eyes are telling you: “We’re moving!” but the fluid in your inner ear is saying: “Uh, no we’re not!” Your brain gets a little miffed at the contradiction in sensory input.

Be glad you just felt dizzy. I had friends barf after the Blair Witch Project.

[sub]And no “yeah, it’s because it’s a sucky movie!” comments from the peanut gallery, please![/sub]

You are dizzy because what your eyes are telling your brain (i.e. your are moving rapidly) is at odds with what your inner ear is telling you (i.e. you are sitting still). Your brain isn’t sure which to believe and concludes that something is wrong with one or other.

So you feel dizzy.

Some people I know have a particular problem with this in video games. They end up feeling quite ill.

You are a tad mistaken that the fluid in the ear canals causes dizziness. What teh ear canal fluid actaully does is sense movement and orientation. The movement of the fluid triggers very sensitive hairs within the eear canal which is translated by the brain as actual movement and the way the body is oriented so that i can compensate the body if needed.

The eyes also senses movement thru depth perception and visual orientereering. Its what visuals like the full screen vistas like the Aladin scene and the “America the Beautiful” show in Disneyland fool the brain into thinking there is actual movement when in fact there isnt.

The dizziness comes from the conflict of the 2. When your brain says youre moving (because the eye says so) but your ear says “no way, whe havent moved an inch”, thats when you get dizzy. The opposite is also true. Ever been a moving vehicle where you cant see anything moving past you like deep inside a ship at sea, or in the middle seat of the van with no windows? your eyes cant see any movement but your ear is going haywire with all the inertia stimuli. You get real dizzy then.

There was a virtual hang-gliding game type thing at a carnival in my old town. You were actually suspended in a harness, but the rest was done using virtual reality goggles. They had to cover the floor with plastic tarps for just that reason. (At least suspended horizontally you wouldn’t yak on your clothes.)

The inverse of this: Reading when you’re a passenger in a car and trying to read. Your eyes are focussed on the relatively stationary page, your ears are saying: “wheeeeeee!” Result: Car sickness.