Intended for healthcare professionals


Ig Nobel awards celebrate studies of motion sickness, bladder control, and a mayor with an armoured tank

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 04 October 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6353
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. 1Boston

If you’ve ever wondered why discus throwers but not hammer throwers become dizzy while spinning, then wonder no more. “Hammer throwers, like ballet dancers and figure skaters, use “gaze fixation [which] permits post-rotatory nystagmus inhibition,” said Philippe Perrin, who with his team of researchers from the Netherlands and France was awarded the 2011 Ig Nobel physics prize for solving the motion sickness mystery.

Medical topics dominated the 21st Ig Nobel prize ceremony this year. The awards, which honour science that “first makes you laugh, then makes you think,” were given out by genuine Nobel laureates at Harvard University on 29 September.

Professor Perrin, professor of physiology and balance control at Nancy University, France, and a physician in otolaryngology, told the BMJ that gaze fixation, …

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