Modulation of excitability in the temporoparietal junction relieves virtual reality sickness

Naoyuki Takeuchi, Takayuki Mori, Yoshimi Suzukamo, Shin Ichi Izumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Virtual reality (VR) immersion often provokes subjective discomfort and postural instability, so called VR sickness. The neural mechanism of VR sickness is speculated to be related to visual-vestibular information mismatch and/or postural instability. However, the approaches proposed to relieve VR sickness through modulation of brain activity are poorly understood. Using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), we aimed to investigate whether VR sickness could be relieved by the modulation of cortical excitability in the temporoparietal junction (TPJ), which is known to be involved in processing of both vestibular and visual information. Twenty healthy subjects received tDCS over right TPJ before VR immersion. The order of the three types of tDCS (anodal, cathodal, and sham) was counterbalanced across subjects. We evaluated the subjective symptoms, heart rate, and center of pressure at baseline, after tDCS, and after VR immersion. VR immersion using head-mounted displays provoked subjective discomfort and postural instability. However, anodal tDCS over right TPJ ameliorated subjective disorientation symptoms and postural instability induced by VR immersion compared with sham condition. The amelioration of VR sickness by anodal tDCS over the right TPJ might result from relief of the sensory conflict and/or facilitation of vestibular function. Our result not only has potential clinical implications for the neuromodulation approach of VR sickness but also implies a causal role of the TPJ in VR sickness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-387
Number of pages7
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun


  • motion sickness
  • postural instability
  • sensory conflict
  • temporoparietal junction
  • transcranial direct current stimulation
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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