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Claire Ceriani's picture

Carsickness and Driving

I know someone who gets very carsick, even in the front seat, but only as a passenger.  As a driver, she's fine.  This makes me wonder what the difference is.  Though you really spend the majority of your time looking forward (rather than out the side window) while driving, there is still the sensation that the world is moving around you, yet the brain doesn't seem to have a problem with this.  Your eyes must also take in moving images from the rearview mirror, the side mirrors, and the side window, plus the stationary images of the speedometer, fuel gauge, etc.  Why doesn't the brain have a problem with all of these conflicting inputs?  Perhaps the very action of driving seems more like moving than just going along for the ride.  By taking an active part in actually driving the car, you feel more as if you are moving through the world, rather than sitting in a stationary car as the world flashes by the window.

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