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The physiology of sea-sickness

R. M. Bache
1862 American Journal of Science  
ALL that is known about sea-sickness is, that certain involuntary motions of the body produce an effect upon the nervous system. This effect results in nansea. This nausea is called sea-sickness. The question is not solved, as to the manner in which the nervous impression is produced. It is generally supposed, that sea·sickness is produced by the mere motion of the body, and consequently of the stomach. That it is produced by motion, is not to be denied, but as wherever sea-sIckness occurs,
more » ... Ickness occurs, motion is the pervading concomitant of existence-the thing most patent of all that is evident to the senses, and the body is so unpleasantly subjected to it, we lose sight of the fact, that with the body are also subjected all the senses or perceptive faculties, and that these are called upon to compreliend an entirely novel state of existence. I have said, that the mere action of motion upon the body is supposed to produce the nausea called sea-sickness. I hope to be able to overthrow this theory by the arguments and proofs of another theory, which I am about to advance. The points which I intend to prove are-that the agreeableness of motion is a mere matter of habit-that motion however violent is not nauseating "per se" but only inasmuch as it pro. duces an impression conflicting with its ordinary contrasted effects as pre-established in the mind, that the idea of motion is the result of concurrent testimony of the senses-and, that in novel motions, there is a violation of the conception of motion derived from the habitual concurrence of the testimony of the senses-that as tbe result of this violation, a conflict of impressions ensues, and the brain is affected-thence the nervous system, and nausea results. In fine, I maintain that sea-sickness is a disease of the brain, and not of the stomach, except incidentally, or as affected by the brain, although, it is true, that the stomach reacts upon the brain. I now commence my argument in which I have attempted a procedure, which, I trust, cannot fail to bring conviction oftha truth of the theory to anyone who will carefully analyze it. In all statements of facts which I have introduced I have taken the experience of others, as well as my own. The appearance of motion when the observer knows that his own bod'y is at rest, is not nauseating. To ascertain the effect ot the mere appearance of motion under these circumstances, we can take no better example, than that of a train of cars drawn by a locomotive at full speed. The more rapid motions of the Ax.
doi:10.2475/ajs.s2-34.100.17 fatcat:s2hbt5ek6rgzjiqpmtzzq5wgtq