College of Education and Human Development

School of Kinesiology

Tom Stoffregen

  • Professor, Kinesiology

  • Office Hours

    By appointment

Tom Stoffregen

Areas of interest

Perception and action, human factors, control of posture and orientation, ecological psychology, embodied cognition, coordination dynamics, affordances, motion sickness


PhD, human experimental psychology, Cornell University, 1984

BA, psychology, with high honors, Oberlin College, 1979


Director, Affordance Perception-Action Laboratory

Member, Center for Cognitive Sciences

Graduate faculty, Department of Psychology

Graduate faculty, Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering

Graduate faculty, Human Factors/Ergonomics

Graduate faculty, Neuroscience

Current research interests

1. Perception and control of body orientation, and its integration with simultaneous suprapostural action. This research is carried out in the context of human-computer interaction and, separately, on the High Seas.  

2. Postural stability and motion sickness. This research is carried out in the context of contemporary technologies, such as virtual environements and tablet computers and, separately, on the High Seas. We recently have begun to investigate sex differences in susceptibility to motion sickness. Women are more susceptible than men, a fact that has social and political implications arising from the rapid spread of imaging technologies.

3. Perception and control of the dynamics of actor-environment systems (i.e., perception and exploitation of affordances).

Research funding

Dr. Stoffregen's research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, and the European Commission. Currently, his research on cybersickness is funded by a 4-year grant from the National Science Foundation.

Broader impacts

In 2021, Dr. Stoffregen was featured in a question on the Jeopardy! television game show. Dr. Stoffregen's research has been profiled on (2015), the BBC (2015), US News and World Report (2015), Wired (2015), in the New York Times (2013), the Wall Street Journal (2013), the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (2013) and Scientific American (2009). He has discussed his research on numerous radio broadcasts, including Marketplace Tech (2014), and on local TV and online video coverage. His research on visual perception of the self has inspired performance art pieces at the Weisman Art Museum. His research on sex differences in motion sickness was quoted extensively in Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, by Caroline Criado Perez, which won the 2019 Royal Society Insight Investment Book Prize. 


Nonaka, T., Ito, K., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2021). Structure of variability in scanning movement predicts braille reading performance in children. Scientific Reports 

Chang, C.-H., Stoffregen, T., Chang, K., Lei, K. L., & Li, C.-C. (2021). Effects of physical driving experience on body movement and motion sickness among passengers in a virtual vehicle. Experimental Brain Research, 239, 491-500. DOI 10.1007/s00221-020-05940-6

Curry, C., Peterson, N., Li, R., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2020). Postural activity during use of a head-mounted display: Sex differences in the “Driver-Passenger” effect. Frontiers in Virtual Reality, 1: 581132. doi: 10.3389/frvir.2020.581132

Peker, A. T., Böge, V., Bailey, G., Wagman, J. B., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2020). Perception of affordances in soccer: Kicking for power versus kicking for precision. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport.

Wagman, J. B., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2020). It doesn’t add up: Nested affordances for reaching are perceived as a complex particular. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 82, 3832-3841.

Stanney, K., Lawson, B. D., Rokers, B., Dennison, M., Fidopiastis, C., Stoffregen, T., Weech, S., & Fulvio, J. (2020). Identifying causes of and solutions for cybersickness in immersive technology: Reformulation of a research and development agenda. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 36, 1783-1803.

Stoffregen, T. A., Mantel, B., Bardy, B. G. (2017). The senses considered as one perceptual system. Ecological Psychology, 29, 165-197.

Walter, H., Wagman, J. B., Stergiou, N., Erkmen, N., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2017). Dynamic perception of dynamic affordances: Walking on a ship at sea. Experimental Brain Research, 235, 517-524. DOI 10.1007/s00221-016-4810-6

Munafo, J., Diedrick, M., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2017). The virtual reality head-mounted display Oculus Rift induces motion sickness and is sexist in its effects. Experimental Brain Research, 235, 889–901. DOI 10.1007/s00221-016-4846-7

Munafo, J., Wade, M. G., Stergiou, N., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2016). The rim and the ancient mariner: The nautical horizon affects postural sway in older adults. PLoS ONE, 11(12): e0166900. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166900.

Wagman, J. B., Caputo, S. E., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2016). Hierarchical nesting of affordances in a tool use task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 42, 1627-1642.

Varlet, M., Bardy, B. G., Chen, F.-C., Alcantara, C., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2015). Coupling of postural activity with motion of a ship at sea. Experimental Brain Research, 233, 1607-1616.

Stoffregen, T. A., & Mantel, B. (2015). Exploratory movement and affordances in design. Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, 29, 257-265. 

Munafo, J., Wade, M. G., Stergiou, N., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2015). Subjective reports and postural performance among older adult passengers on a sea voyage. Ecological Psychology, 27, 127-143.

Mantel, B., Stoffregen, T. A. Campbell, A., & Bardy, B. G. (2015). Exploratory movement generates higher-order information that is sufficient for accurate perception of scaled egocentric distance. PLOS ONE, 10(4): e0120025. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0120025.

Haaland, E., Kaipust, J., Wang, Y., Stergiou, N., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2015). Human gait at sea while walking fore-aft versus athwart. Aerospace Medicine & Human Performance, 86, 435-439. 

Chang, C.-H., Stergiou, N., Kaipust, J., Haaland, E., Wang, Y., Chen, F.-C., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2015). Walking before and during a sea voyage. Ecological Psychology, 27, 87-101.

Koslucher, F. C., Haaland, E., Malsch, A., Webeler, J., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2015). Sex differences in the incidence of motion sickness induced by linear visual oscillation. Aviation Medicine and Human Performance, 86, 787-793.

Varlet, M., Stoffregen, T. A., Chen, F.-C., Alcantara, C., Marin, L., & Bardy, B. G. (2014). Just the sight of you: Postural effects of interpersonal visual contact at sea. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 40, 2310-2318. doi 10.1037/a0038197

Stoffregen, T. A., Chen, F.-C., Varlet, M., Alcantara, C., & Bardy, B. G. (2013). Getting your sea legs. PLOS ONE, 8(6), e66949. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066949

Stoffregen, T. A., Chen, Y.-C., & Koslucher, F. C. (2014). Motion control, motion sickness, and the postural dynamics of mobile devices. Experimental Brain Research, 232, 1389-1397. DOI 10.1007/s00221-014-3859-3.

Chen, Y.-C., Tseng, T.-C., Hung, T.-H., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2014). Precursors of post-bout motion sickness in adolescent female boxers. Experimental Brain Research, 232, 2571-2579. DOI 10.1007/s00221-014-3910-4

Mayo, A. M., Wade, M. G., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2011). Postural effects of the horizon on land and at sea. Psychological Science, 22, 118-124.

Faugloire, E., Stoffregen, T. A., & Bardy, B. G. (2009). (De)Stabilization of required and spontaneous postural dynamics with learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 35, 170-187.

Stoffregen, T. A., Villard, S., Kim, C., Ito, K., & Bardy, B. G. (2009). Coupling of head and body movement with motion of the audible environment. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 35, 1221-1231.

Stoffregen, T. A., & Bardy, B. G. (2001). On specification and the senses. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24, 195-261.

Stoffregen, T. A., & Riccio, G. E. (1988). An ecological theory of orientation and the vestibular system. Psychological Review, 95, 3-14.


Stoffregen, T. A. (2014, November). Is motion sickness sexist? Talk presented at the University of Minnesota Department of Neuroscience.

Koslucher, F. C., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2014, April). Sexual dimorphism may explain sex differences in susceptibility to motion sickness. Poster presented at a meeting of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences, Minneapolis MN.

Koslucher, Haaland, & Stoffregen, T. A. (2014, June). Sexual dimorphism in susceptibility to motion sickness. Poster presented at a meeting of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, Minneapolis MN.