Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Motion Sickness from an Optical Illusion in a Seminar

The talk that is just finishing in the neural rhythms and oscillations workshop concerns optical illusions. The speaker walked us through and demonstrated the "flickering pinwheel illusion" in his slide. It's a very interesting phenomenon, but unfortunately that slide has also very seriously kicked in my motion sickness. Sigh... I feel sick.

And then later on in the talk, the speaker was connecting this stuff to illusions in things like stroboscopic lights, drugs, and migraines. As some of you know, the latter of these is extremely familiar to me from my own experiences --- and stroboscopic lights have triggered them on occasion (and I specifically try to avoid stroboscopic lights). Sigh. Well, at least I have provided another data point.

I guess some neuroscience talks ought to include motion-sickness alerts along with them? I really hope this doesn't mess me up for the rest of the day.

This also reminds me of Kramer's epilectic reaction to Mary Hart on Seinfeld. Just imagine that seen from Seinfeld, except with people at a conference watching a talk on optical illusions and me in the background playing the part of Kramer.

Update: It turns out that another audience member (who also has a history of migraines) who knew better purposely covered her eyes during that slide. I didn't know that such illusions could cause such things, so if I had possessed the scientific knowledge beforehand, I could have done something about it. Burned by my lack of knowledge!

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