Dataset for: Vection in Virtual Reality Modulates Vestibular-Evoked Myogenic Potentials

The popularity of Virtual Reality (VR) has increased rapidly in recent years. While significant technological advancements are apparent, a troublesome problem with VR is that between 20% and 80% of users will experience unpleasant side-effects such as nausea, disorientation, blurred vision, and headaches – a malady known as Cybersickness. Cybersickness may be caused by a conflict between sensory signals for self-motion: while vision signals that the user is moving in a certain direction with certain acceleration, the vestibular organs provide no corroborating information. To resolve the sensory conflict vestibular cues may be down-weighted leading to an alteration of how the brain interprets actual vestibular information. This may account for the frequently reported after-effects of VR exposure. Here we investigated whether exposure to vection in VR modulates vestibular processing. We measured vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs) during brief immersion in a vection-inducing VR environment presented via head-mounted display. We found changes in VEMPs asymmetry ratio, with a substantial increase in VEMPs amplitude recorded on the left sternocleidomastoid muscle following just one minute of exposure to vection in VR. Our results suggest that exposure to vection in VR modulates vestibular processing, which may explain common after-effects of VR.