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Continuous and Intermittent Artificial Gravity as a Countermeasure to the Cognitive Effects of 60 Days of Head-Down Tilt Bed Rest

Basner, M. and Dinges, D.F. and Howard, K. and Moore, T.M. and Gur, R.C. and Mühl, C. and Stahn, A.C. (2021) Continuous and Intermittent Artificial Gravity as a Countermeasure to the Cognitive Effects of 60 Days of Head-Down Tilt Bed Rest. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, p. 643854. Frontiers Media S.A.. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2021.643854. ISSN 1664-1078.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2021.643854

Abstract

Environmental and psychological stressors can adversely affect astronaut cognitive performance in space. This study used a 6° head-down tilt bed rest (HDBR) paradigm to simulate some of the physiologic changes induced by microgravity. Twenty-four participants (mean ± SD age 33.3 ± 9.2 years, N = 16 men) spent 60 consecutive days in strict HDBR. They were studied in three groups of eight subjects each. One group served as Control, whereas the other two groups received either a continuous or intermittent artificial gravity (AG) countermeasure of 30 min centrifugation daily (1 g acceleration at the center of mass and 2 g at the feet). Participants performed all 10 tests of NASA’s Cognition battery and a brief alertness and mood survey repeatedly before, during, and after the HDBR period. Test scores were adjusted for practice and stimulus set difficulty effects. A modest but statistically significant slowing across a range of cognitive domains was found in all three groups during HDBR compared to baseline, most consistently for sensorimotor speed, whereas accuracy was unaffected. These changes were observed early during HDBR and did not further worsen or improve with increasing time in HDBR, except for emotion recognition performance. With increasing time spent in HDBR, participants required longer time to decide which facial emotion was expressed. They were also more likely to select categories with negative valence over categories with neutral or positive valence. Except for workload, which was rated lower in the Control group, continuous or intermittent AG did not modify the effect of HDBR on cognitive performance or subjective responses. Participants expressed several negative survey responses during HDBR relative to baseline, and some of the responses further deteriorated during recovery, which highlights the importance of adequate medical and psychological support during extended duration HDBR studies. In conclusion, 60 days of HDBR were associated with moderate cognitive slowing and changes in emotion recognition performance, but these effects were not mitigated by either continuous or intermittent exposure to AG for 30 min daily.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/142452/
Document Type:Article
Title:Continuous and Intermittent Artificial Gravity as a Countermeasure to the Cognitive Effects of 60 Days of Head-Down Tilt Bed Rest
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Basner, M.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Dinges, D.F.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Howard, K.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Moore, T.M.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Gur, R.C.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Mühl, C.christian.muehl (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Stahn, A.C.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:17 March 2021
Journal or Publication Title:Frontiers in Psychology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:12
DOI :10.3389/fphys.2021.643854
Page Range:p. 643854
Publisher:Frontiers Media S.A.
Series Name:eCollection 2021
ISSN:1664-1078
Status:Published
Keywords:cognition, spaceflight, performance, microgravity, bed rest, emotion recognition
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - User Centre Research under Space Conditions
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Sleep and Human Factors Research
Deposited By: Sender, Alina
Deposited On:02 Jun 2021 13:43
Last Modified:02 Jun 2021 13:43

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