The finding was born from a real-world experience: the researchers' colleague purchased a similar rug with a repetitive black and white square pattern and later found himself feeling the effects normally attributed to motion sickness: dizziness, nausea, headaches and a general sense of disorientation (hey, these are the very same feelings I get while trying to navigate the aisles at IKEA on a Saturday afternoon).
Some claim certain decor makes them feel sick in the figurative sense, but Frederick Bonato, PhD, a psychology professor at Saint Peter's College in Jersey City noted some repetitive patterns have been found to cause visual distress and seizures. Researchers say they do not know exactly why high contrast repeat patterns can lead to ill feelings, but it seems likely the physiological reaction is similar to staring at one of these optical illusions:
They weren't joking, I'm actually a little queasy at this point while writing up this post from staring at both of these graphics. The rug image has been up on my screen for far more than 5 minutes and I can feel the tell-tale signs of motion sickness at the back of my throat, even though I've tried to stare away. Via MSNBC Body Odd