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Fiscal Year: FY 2017  Task Last Updated:  02/05/2018 
PI Name: Young, Laurence R. Sc.D. 
Project Title: Countermeasures to Reduce Sensorimotor Impairment and Space Motion Sickness Resulting from Altered Gravity Levels 
   
Division Name: Human Research 
Program/Discipline--
Element/Subdiscipline:
NSBRI--Sensorimotor Adaptation Team 
 
Joint Agency Name:   TechPort:  Yes 
Human Research Program Elements: (1) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sensorimotor (SM):Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft, Associated Systems and Immediate Vehicle Egress Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Space Flight
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SM24:SM24: Determine if the individual capacity to produce adaptive change (rate and extent) in sensorimotor function to transitions in gravitational environments can be predicted with preflight tests of sensorimotor adaptability (IRP Rev F)
 (2) SM27:Determine the most optimal pharmacological and sensorimotor countermeasure combination that reduces Space Motion Sickness (SMS) while minimizing side effects (IRP Rev F)
Space Biology Element: None
Space Biology Cross-Element Discipline: None
Space Biology Special Category: None
PI Email: lry@mit.edu  Fax:  617-258-8111 
PI Organization Type: UNIVERSITY  Phone: 617-253-7759  
Organization Name: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
PI Address 1: Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics 
PI Address 2: 77 Massachusetts Avenue 
PI Web Page:  
City: Cambridge  State: MA 
Zip Code: 02139-4301  Congressional District: 
Comments:  
Project Type: GROUND  Solicitation:  2012 Crew Health NNJ12ZSA002N 
Start Date: 08/01/2013  End Date:  05/31/2017 
No. of Post Docs: No. of PhD Degrees: 
No. of PhD Candidates: No. of Master' Degrees: 
No. of Master's Candidates: No. of Bachelor's Degrees: 
No. of Bachelor's Candidates: Monitoring Center:  NSBRI 
Contact Monitor:   Contact Phone:   
Contact Email:  
Flight Program:  
Flight Assignment: NOTE: End date changed to 05/31/2017 per NSBRI (Ed., 3/6/17)

 

Key Personnel Changes/Previous PI:  
COI Name (Institution): Merfeld, Daniel  Ph.D. ( Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary )
Oman, Charles  Ph.D. ( Massachusetts Institute of Technology )
Karmali, Faisal  Ph.D. ( Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary )
Priesol, Adrian  M.D. ( Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary ) 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-SA03401 
Performance Goal No.:  
Performance Goal Text:

 

Task Description: The effect of altered gravity on astronauts' perceptions and motor skills is significant as it threatens the health, well-being, and performance of crews. Astronauts experience gravitational transitions from Earth's gravitational level during launch to microgravity in space, then to partial gravity if landing on the Moon, Mars, or Martian moons, followed by a return to microgravity, and finally re-entry back to Earth. In addition, the use of Artificial Gravity (AG) from an on-board centrifuge also presents an altered gravity challenge, in particular during transitions between gravity levels. During each of these g-transitions astronauts must adapt their sensorimotor programs to coordinate perceptual and motor capabilities and function successfully and safely. The ability to identify and predict changes in sensorimotor function during these g-transitions is essential to the development of protocols and countermeasure implementation for future crew members. This project takes a new approach which could lead to a practical and acceptable protocol. We alter gravito-inertial accelerations with centrifugation in different body orientations. Furthermore, we have quantified sensory adaptation capabilities of both perception and manual control ability to a transition into hypo-gravity. Additionally, we investigated the effect of a common motion sickness drug, promethazine, on basic vestibular motion perception. This is an important step in better understanding the benefits and risks associated with the use of motion sickness drugs in conjunction with adaptation training and in flight after critical gravity transitions.

Specific Aims: The original specific aims for this project were: SA1) Demonstrate that individual differences exist in the ability to adapt to gravitational transitions, and can be measured quantitatively by measures of subjective orientation, closed loop manual control, and subjective motions sickness reports. SA2) Test whether pre-training by adapting to one altered gravity environment can improve sensorimotor adaptation in another altered gravity environment. SA3) Test whether the leading pharmacological agent, promethazine, affects either basic vestibular perceptual function or the adaptation rate to an altered gravity environment and the associated motion sickness symptoms. SA4) Develop and test a combined pre-adaptation training and pharmacological intervention protocol that can both improve sensorimotor adaptation and reduce the associated motion sickness.

Hypotheses: The hypotheses are: H1) Individual differences exist in the ability to adapt to altered gravity environments and these differences can be predicted by measuring adaptability in one altered gravity environment. H2) Pre-adaptation training in one altered gravity environment will improve sensorimotor adaptation in another altered gravity environment. H3) Promethazine will reduce motion sickness, but will have no influence on either basic vestibular perceptual function or sensorimotor adaptation to altered gravity environments.

Results: We determine individual differences in performance of both the perception and manual control tasks in terms of initial performance decrement and adaptation time constant. All subjects consistently show a performance decrement in the perception and closed-loop manual control task on initial exposure to altered-gravity, followed by a return back to baseline performance. Promethazine significantly affects upright roll tilt motion perception thresholds, a measure of basic vestibular perceptual function. Thresholds were not different with promethazine for upright yaw or upright interaural translation motions. However, the small but consistent effect of promethazine on roll tilt perception could have functional and operational significance.

Deliverables: Deliverables are a methodology for measuring an individual's capacity to adapt to an altered gravity environment using affordable centrifuge tests, and a combined pharmacological and pre-adaptation training intervention to reduce the severity of motion sickness and sensorimotor impairment during gravitational transitions.

 

Rationale for HRP Directed Research:

 

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Sensorimotor function is altered during gravitational transitions, such as those that occur during spaceflight. Related space motion sickness also occurs regularly during gravity transitions and impacts performance and operations. Astronauts must remain functional during the critical mission phases that occur during or are temporally close to gravity transitions, particularly for vehicle control and landing tasks. This project presents an experimental approach. It is aimed at a better understanding of perception and performance changes due to altered gravity using a centrifuge to change the G-level. Additionally, this project investigated whether there were detrimental effects on sensorimotor performance due to the administration of promethazine, a common motion sickness drug given during spaceflight to better handle gravity-transitions. Understanding sensorimotor impairment in altered gravity environments is also relevant for Earth applications. For example, it is important to understand how altered gravity exposure affects pilot performance, including perception and manual control, since the consequences of delayed or inadequate adaptation could be catastrophic. In addition, sensorimotor rehabilitation is critically important here on Earth for elderly and patient populations. Our findings on sensorimotor adaptation to altered gravity will likely be translatable to the learning and adaptation required during sensorimotor rehabilitation. Understanding sensorimotor adaptation mechanisms, enhancing adaptive rates, and being able to identify individuals who may have trouble with sensorimotor adaptation are all important topics for sensorimotor rehabilitation patients here on Earth.

 

Task Progress: We completed analysis of a double-blind, within-subject study to compare vestibular perceptual thresholds with the administration of promethazine and placebo. Roll tilt thresholds were found to be 31% higher after ingestion of promethazine (p = 0.005). We believe that these findings are an important first step in understanding implications of motion sickness drug administration during critical and demanding mission phases. Using a short radius centrifuge, we created a land-based hypo-gravity analog test paradigm. We developed the test protocol, conducted pilot testing, and tested 10 subjects in our altered-gravity perception test protocol. Analysis to date has revealed that subjects underestimate their roll angles when tilted in hypo-gravity compared to their baseline 1 G perception (mean gain diff = -0.27, p=0.006). After approximately 45 minutes in the hypo-gravity environment, subjects' motion perception returned to their 1 G baseline showing that subjects were able to adapt to the altered-gravity environment. Data analysis is currently being finalized and preparation of the associated manuscript is underway.

We also developed, pilot tested, and conducted a full manual control experiment using a short radius centrifuge and a human in the loop feedback control system. We found that both the RMSE and variability in the nulled chair position increased when subjects transitioned into the hypo-gravity environment, representing a worsening in the ability to perceive and null out passive roll tilt motions. Metrics related to the control strategies of the subjects, such as operator gains and control lags are currently being examined. From this ongoing analysis we hope to provide insight into changes in operational control strategies between the various gravity conditions, results that should be relevant to piloting performance during human controlled flight.

 

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 04/10/2019) Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Young LR, Karmali F, Galvan-Garza R, Rosenberg MJF, Diaz Artiles A, Oman CM, Sherwood D, Natapoff A, Kenyon R, Clark TK. "Spatial Orientation and Manual Control in Reduced Gravity." 2017 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 23-26, 2017.

2017 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 23-26, 2017. , Jan-2017

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Clark TK, Young LR. "A case study of human roll tilt perception in hypogravity." Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2017 Jul;88(7):682-7. https://doi.org/10.3357/AMHP.4823.2017 ; PMID:28641686 , Jul-2017
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Diaz-Artiles A, Priesol AJ, Clark TK, Sherwood DP, Oman CM, Young LR, Karmali F. "The impact of oral promethazine on human whole-body motion perceptual thresholds." J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2017 Aug;18(4):581-90. Epub 2017 Apr 24. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10162-017-0622-z ; PubMed PMID: 28439720; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5532182 , Apr-2017
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Galvan-Garza RC, Clark TK, Sherwood D, Diaz-Artiles A, Rosenberg M, Natapoff A, Karmali F, Oman CM, Young LR. "Human perception of whole body roll-tilt orientation in a hypogravity analog: underestimation and adaptation." J Neurophysiol. 2018 Dec 1;120(6):3110-21. https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00140.2018 ; PubMed PMID: 30332330 , Dec-2018
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Rosenberg MJ, Galvan-Garza RC, Clark TK, Sherwood DP, Young LR, Karmali F. "Human manual control precision depends on vestibular sensory precision and gravitational magnitude." J Neurophysiol. 2018 Dec 1;120(6):3187-97. https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00565.2018 ; PubMed PMID: 30379610 , Dec-2018
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Diaz-Artiles A, Heldt T, Young LR. "Short-term cardiovascular response to short-radius centrifugation with and without ergometer exercise." Front Physiol. 2018 Nov 13;9:1492. eCollection 2018. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2018.01492 ; PubMed PMID: 30483141; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6242912 , Nov-2018
Download in PDF pdf     
Fiscal Year: FY 2016  Task Last Updated:  12/28/2016 
PI Name: Young, Laurence R. Sc.D. 
Project Title: Countermeasures to Reduce Sensorimotor Impairment and Space Motion Sickness Resulting from Altered Gravity Levels 
   
Division Name: Human Research 
Program/Discipline--
Element/Subdiscipline:
NSBRI--Sensorimotor Adaptation Team 
 
Joint Agency Name:   TechPort:  Yes 
Human Research Program Elements: (1) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sensorimotor (SM):Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft, Associated Systems and Immediate Vehicle Egress Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Space Flight
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SM24:SM24: Determine if the individual capacity to produce adaptive change (rate and extent) in sensorimotor function to transitions in gravitational environments can be predicted with preflight tests of sensorimotor adaptability (IRP Rev F)
 (2) SM27:Determine the most optimal pharmacological and sensorimotor countermeasure combination that reduces Space Motion Sickness (SMS) while minimizing side effects (IRP Rev F)
Space Biology Element: None
Space Biology Cross-Element Discipline: None
Space Biology Special Category: None
PI Email: lry@mit.edu  Fax:  617-258-8111 
PI Organization Type: UNIVERSITY  Phone: 617-253-7759  
Organization Name: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
PI Address 1: Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics 
PI Address 2: 77 Massachusetts Avenue 
PI Web Page:  
City: Cambridge  State: MA 
Zip Code: 02139-4301  Congressional District: 
Comments:  
Project Type: GROUND  Solicitation:  2012 Crew Health NNJ12ZSA002N 
Start Date: 08/01/2013  End Date:  05/31/2017 
No. of Post Docs: No. of PhD Degrees: 
No. of PhD Candidates: No. of Master' Degrees: 
No. of Master's Candidates: No. of Bachelor's Degrees: 
No. of Bachelor's Candidates: Monitoring Center:  NSBRI 
Contact Monitor:   Contact Phone:   
Contact Email:  
Flight Program:  
Flight Assignment: NOTE: End date changed to 05/31/2017 per NSBRI (Ed., 3/6/17)

 

Key Personnel Changes/Previous PI:  
COI Name (Institution): Merfeld, Daniel   ( Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary )
Oman, Charles   ( Massachusetts Institute of Technology )
Karmali, Faisal   ( Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary )
Priesol, Adrian   ( Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary ) 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-SA03401 
Performance Goal No.:  
Performance Goal Text:

 

Task Description: The effect of altered gravity on astronauts' perceptions and motor skills is significant as it threatens the health, well-being, and performance of crews. Astronauts experience gravitational transitions during launch from Earth's gravitational level to microgravity in space, then to partial gravity if landing on the Moon, Mars, or Martian moons, followed by a return to microgravity, and finally re-entry back to Earth. In addition, the use of Artificial Gravity (AG) from an on-board centrifuge also presents an altered gravity challenge, in particular during transitions between gravity levels. During each of these g-transitions astronauts must adapt their sensorimotor programs to coordinate perceptual and motor capabilities and function successfully and safely. The ability to identify and predict changes in sensorimotor function during these g-transitions is essential to the development of protocol development and countermeasure implementation for future crew members. This project takes a new approach which could lead to a practical and acceptable protocol for measuring sensorimotor responses in a hypo-gravity environment. By using the gravito-inertial alterations possible with centrifugation in different body orientations we have quantified sensory adaptation capabilities of both perception and manual control ability to a transition into hypo-gravity. Additionally, we investigated the effect of a common motion sickness drug, promethazine, on basic vestibular motion perception, an important scientific step in better understanding the benefit and risks associated with the use of motion sickness drugs in conjunction with adaptation training and in flight after critical gravity transitions.

The original specific aims and hypothesis for this project were:

SA1) Demonstrate that individual differences exist in the ability to adapt to gravitational transitions, and can be measured quantitatively by measures of subjective orientation, closed loop manual control, and subjective motions sickness reports. Data analysis shows individual differences in performance of both the perception and manual control task in terms of initial performance decrement and adaptation time constant. Apart from individual differences, subjects consistently show a performance decrement in the perception and closed-loop manual control task on initial exposure to altered-gravity, followed by a return back to baseline performance.

SA2) Test whether pre-training by adapting to one altered gravity environment can improve sensorimotor adaptation in another altered gravity environment.

SA3) Test whether the leading pharmacological agent, promethazine, affects either basic vestibular perceptual function or the adaptation rate to an altered gravity environment and the associated motion sickness symptoms. To date, one important finding is that promethazine has a small but significant effect on upright roll tilt motion perception thresholds, a measure of basic vestibular perceptual function. Thresholds were not different with promethazine for upright yaw or upright interaural translation motions. The small but consistent effect of promethazine on roll tilt perception could have functional and operational significance.

SA4) Develop and test a combined pre-adaptation training and pharmacological intervention protocol that can both improve sensorimotor adaptation and reduce the associate motion sickness. The hypotheses are: H1) Individual differences exist in the ability to adapt to altered gravity environments and these differences can be predicted by measuring adaptability in one altered gravity environment. H2) Pre-adaptation training in one altered gravity environment will improve sensorimotor adaptation in another altered gravity environment. H3) Promethazine will reduce motion sickness, but will have no influence on either basic vestibular perceptual function or sensorimotor adaptation to altered gravity environments.

Deliverables include a methodology for measuring an individual's capacity to adapt to an altered gravity environment using affordable centrifuge tests, and a combined pharmacological and pre-adaptation training intervention to reduce the severity of motion sickness and sensorimotor impairment during gravitational transitions.

 

Rationale for HRP Directed Research:

 

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Sensorimotor function is altered during gravitational transitions, such as those that occur during spaceflight. Related space motion sickness also occurs regularly during gravity transitions and impacts performance and operations. Astronauts must remain functional during the critical mission phases that occur during or are temporally close to gravity transitions, particularly for vehicle control and landing tasks. This project presents an experimental approach aimed at better understanding perception and performance changes due to altered gravity, using a centrifuge to change the G-level. Additionally, this project investigated whether there were detrimental effects on sensorimotor performance due to the administration of promethazine, a common motion sickness drug given during spaceflight to better handle gravity-transitions. Understanding sensorimotor impairment in altered gravity environments is also relevant for Earth applications. For example, it is important to understand how altered gravity exposure affects pilot performance, including perception and manual control, since the consequences of delayed or inadequate adaptation could be catastrophic. In addition, sensorimotor rehabilitation is critically important here on Earth for elderly and patient populations. Our findings on sensorimotor adaptation to altered gravity will likely be translatable to the learning and adaptation required during sensorimotor rehabilitation. Understanding sensorimotor adaptation mechanisms, enhancing adaptive rates, and being able to predict individuals who may have trouble with sensorimotor adaptation are all important topics for sensorimotor rehabilitation patients here on Earth.

 

Task Progress: We completed analysis of a double-blind, within-subject study to compare vestibular perceptual thresholds with the administration of promethazine and placebo. Roll tilt thresholds were found to be 31% higher after ingestion of promethazine (p=0.005). We believe that these findings are an important first step in understanding implications of motion sickness drug administration during critical and demanding mission phases.

Using a short radius centrifuge, we created a land-based hypo-gravity analog test paradigm. We developed the test protocol, conducted pilot testing, and tested 10 subjects in our altered-gravity perception test protocol. Analysis to date has revealed that subjects underestimate their roll tilts when put into hypo-gravity compared to their baseline 1 G perception (mean gain diff = -0.27, p=0.006). After approximately 45 minutes in the hypo-gravity environment, subjects' motion perception returned to their 1 G baseline showing that subjects were able to adapt to the altered-gravity environment. Data analysis is currently being finalized and preparation of the associated manuscript is underway.

We also developed, pilot tested, and conducted a full manual control experiment using a short radius centrifuge and a human in the loop feedback control system. We have completed the majority of the data analysis for this study, and have found that both the RMSE and variability in the nulled chair position increased when subjects transitioned into the hypo-gravity environment, representing a worsening in the ability to perceive and null out passive roll tilt motions. Metrics related to the control strategies of the subjects, such as operator gains and control lags are currently being examined. From this ongoing analysis we hope to provide insight into changes in operational control strategies between the various gravity conditions, results that should be relevant to piloting performance during human controlled flight.

Finally, we collected additional motion threshold data from subjects who were involved in our centrifugation studies. With this additional data, we were able to make statistical comparisons between basic vestibular function as estimated by motion thresholds and functional control in altered-gravity environments, as described by various metrics of manual control ability. We have completed data analysis for this study and found a positive, linear correlation between manual control variability and vestibular thresholds (p < 0.01) in the 1.0 GZ baseline condition. This suggests that sensory precision is a limiting factor in manual control performance. Additionally, manual control performance was 12.7% lower in 1.33 GZ (p < 0.05) and 37.5% higher in 0.5 GZ (p < 0.05), as compared to 1 GZ. Preparation of the associated manuscript is underway.

 

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 04/10/2019) Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Karmali F, Galvan-Garza R, Sherwood D, Rosenberg MJF, Clark TK, Young LR. "Development of a Countermeasure to Enhance Sensorimotor Adaptation to Altered Gravity Levels." 2016 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 8-11, 2016.

2016 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 8-11, 2016. , Feb-2016

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Rosenberg MJF, Galvan-Garza RC, Clark TK, Sherwood DP, Young LR, Karmali F. "Sensory precision limits behavioral precision in a manual control task." Neuroscience 2016, San Diego, CA, November 12-16, 2016.

Neuroscience 2016, San Diego, CA, November 12-16, 2016. , Nov-2016

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Rosenberg MJF, Galvan-Garza RC, Clark TK, Sherwood DP, Young LR, Karmali F. "Sensory Precision Limits Vehicle Control Performance." 2016 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 8-11, 2016.

2016 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 8-11, 2016. , Feb-2016

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Diaz Artiles A, Heldt T, Young LR. "Effects of artificial gravity on the cardiovascular system: computational approach." Acta Astronautica. 2016 Sep-Oct;126:395-410. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2016.05.005 , Sep-2016
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Merfeld DM, Clark TK, Yue LM, Karmali F. "Dynamics of individual perceptual decisions." Journal of Neurophysiology. 2016 Jan 1;115(1):39-59. Review. http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/jn.00225.2015 ; PubMed PMID: 26467513; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4760478 , Jan-2016
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Diaz A, Trigg C, Young LR. "Combining ergometer exercise and artificial gravity in a compact-radius centrifuge." Acta Astronautica. 2015 Aug-Sep;113:80-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2015.03.034 , Sep-2015
Dissertations and Theses Galvan-Garza R. "Enhancement of Perception with the Application of Stochastic Vestibular Stimulation." Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 2016. , Jun-2016
Papers from Meeting Proceedings Karmali F, Clark TK, Diaz Artiles A, Sherwood DP, Galvan-Garza RC, Young LR. "Development of a countermeasure to enhance sensorimotor adaptation to altered gravity levels." 2016 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, March 5-12, 2016.

2016 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Digest of Papers, 7 p. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/AERO.2016.7500728 , Mar-2016

Papers from Meeting Proceedings Young LR, Karmali F, Galvan-Garza RC, Clark TK. "Changing Gravity Levels – Manual Control and Spatial Orientation Adaptation During Hypo-Gravity Centrifugation." IAC 67: 67th International Astronautical Congress, Guadalajara, Mexico, September 26-30, 2016.

IAC 67: 67th International Astronautical Congress, Guadalajara, Mexico, September 26-30, 2016. Paper code IAC-16,A1,2,7,x33471. , Sep-2016

Download in PDF pdf     
Fiscal Year: FY 2015  Task Last Updated:  10/19/2015 
PI Name: Young, Laurence R. Sc.D. 
Project Title: Countermeasures to Reduce Sensorimotor Impairment and Space Motion Sickness Resulting from Altered Gravity Levels 
   
Division Name: Human Research 
Program/Discipline--
Element/Subdiscipline:
NSBRI--Sensorimotor Adaptation Team 
 
Joint Agency Name:   TechPort:  Yes 
Human Research Program Elements: (1) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sensorimotor (SM):Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft, Associated Systems and Immediate Vehicle Egress Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Space Flight
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SM24:SM24: Determine if the individual capacity to produce adaptive change (rate and extent) in sensorimotor function to transitions in gravitational environments can be predicted with preflight tests of sensorimotor adaptability (IRP Rev F)
 (2) SM27:Determine the most optimal pharmacological and sensorimotor countermeasure combination that reduces Space Motion Sickness (SMS) while minimizing side effects (IRP Rev F)
Space Biology Element: None
Space Biology Cross-Element Discipline: None
Space Biology Special Category: None
PI Email: lry@mit.edu  Fax:  617-258-8111 
PI Organization Type: UNIVERSITY  Phone: 617-253-7759  
Organization Name: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
PI Address 1: Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics 
PI Address 2: 77 Massachusetts Avenue 
PI Web Page:  
City: Cambridge  State: MA 
Zip Code: 02139-4301  Congressional District: 
Comments:  
Project Type: GROUND  Solicitation:  2012 Crew Health NNJ12ZSA002N 
Start Date: 08/01/2013  End Date:  07/31/2016 
No. of Post Docs: No. of PhD Degrees: 
No. of PhD Candidates: No. of Master' Degrees: 
No. of Master's Candidates: No. of Bachelor's Degrees: 
No. of Bachelor's Candidates: Monitoring Center:  NSBRI 
Contact Monitor:   Contact Phone:   
Contact Email:  
Flight Program:  
Flight Assignment:

 

Key Personnel Changes/Previous PI:  
COI Name (Institution): Merfeld, Daniel   ( Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary )
Oman, Charles   ( Massachusetts Institute of Technology )
Karmali, Faisal   ( Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary )
Priesol, Adrian   ( Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary ) 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-SA03401 
Performance Goal No.:  
Performance Goal Text:

 

Task Description: The effect of altered gravity on astronauts' perceptions and motor skills is significant as it threatens the health, well being, and performance of crews. Astronauts experience gravitational transitions during launch from Earth's gravitational level to microgravity in space, then to partial gravity if landing on the Moon, Mars, or Martian moons, followed by a return to microgravity, and finally re-entry back to Earth. In addition, the use of Artificial Gravity (AG) from an on-board centrifuge also presents an altered gravity challenge, in particular during transitions between gravity levels. During each of these g-transitions astronauts must adapt their sensorimotor programs to coordinate perceptual and motor capabilities and function successfully and safely. The ability to identify and predict individual differences in this adaptability is essential to the development of pharmacological and training interventions for future crew members. This project takes a new approach which could lead to an effective, practical, and acceptable protocol for pre-adapting astronauts to space flight. By using the gravito-inertial alterations possible with centrifugation in different body orientations we will quantify an individual's sensory adaptation capability using measures of sensorimotor impairment and motion sickness under altered gravity. We will use these results to predict and to minimize the consequences of movement in any other gravity environment. In combination with appropriate use of a drug (promethazine) we anticipate the development of a new pre-flight adaptation protocol to minimize disorientation and motion sickness and to overcome disturbances in manual control. An important step in the development will be the determination of the benefit and risks associated with the use of promethazine in conjunction with adaptation training.

The specific aims and hypothesis for this project are:

SA1) Demonstrate that individual differences exist in the ability to adapt to gravitational transitions, and can be measured quantitatively by measures of subjective orientation, closed loop manual control, and subjective motions sickness reports. Preliminary data analysis show individual differences in performance of the manual control task in terms of initial performance decrement and adaptation time constant. Apart from individual differences, subjects consistently show a performance decrement in the closed-loop manual control task on initial exposure to altered-gravity, followed by an performance return back to baseline performance.

SA2) Test whether pre-training by adapting to one altered gravity environment can improve sensorimotor adaptation in another altered gravity environment.

SA3) Test whether the leading pharmacological agent, promethazine, affects either basic vestibular perceptual function or the adaptation rate to an altered gravity environment and the associated motion sickness symptoms.

SA4) Develop and test a combined pre-adaptation training and pharmacological intervention protocol that can both improve sensorimotor adaptation and reduce the associate motion sickness.

The hypotheses are: H1) Individual differences exist in the ability to adapt to altered gravity environments and these differences can be predicted by measuring adaptability in one altered gravity environment. H2) Pre-adaptation training in one altered gravity environment will improve sensorimotor adaptation in another altered gravity environment. H3) Promethazine will reduce motion sickness, but will have no influence on either basic vestibular perceptual function or sensorimotor adaptation to altered gravity environments.

To date, one important finding is that promethazine has little effect on vestibular perceptual function. This is important because it eliminates a possible confound in our ongoing adaptation experiments. Deliverables include a methodology for measuring an individual's capacity to adapt to an altered gravity environment using affordable centrifuge tests, and a combined pharmacological and pre-adaptation training intervention to reduce the severity of motion sickness and sensorimotor impairment during gravitational transitions.

 

Rationale for HRP Directed Research:

 

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Sensorimotor function is altered during gravitational transitions, such as those that occur during space flight. Related space motion sickness also occurs regularly during gravity transitions and impacts performance and operations. Astronauts must remain functional during the critical mission phases that occur during or temporally close to gravity transitions, particularly for vehicle control and landing tasks. This project presents an experimental approach aimed at developing combined pharmacological and pre-training countermeasures, using a centrifuge to change the G-level. Specifically, we propose a combination of promethazine application and altered-gravity pre-training to reduce the severity of space motion sickness and sensorimotor impairment during gravitational transitions. Understanding sensorimotor impairment in altered gravity environments is also relevant for Earth applications. For example, it is important to understand how altered gravity exposure affects pilot performance, including perception and manual control, since the consequences could be catastrophic. Pre-training protocols based on our findings could be also applicable to pilots in order to prevent motion sickness and sensorimotor impairment related to altered gravity environments. In addition, sensorimotor rehabilitation is critical important here on Earth for elderly and patient populations. Our findings on sensorimotor adaptation to altered gravity will likely be translatable to the learning and adaptation required during sensorimotor rehabilitation. Understanding sensorimotor adaptation mechanisms, enhancing adaptative rates, and being able to predict individuals who may have trouble with sensorimotor adaptation are all important topics for sensorimotor rehabilitation patients here on Earth.

 

Task Progress: Promethazine Study: We conducted a double-blinded, within-subject study to compare vestibular perceptual thresholds with the administration of promethazine and placebo. Perceptual thresholds were measured in three motion directions: 1) yaw rotation at 1 Hz, y-translation at 1 Hz, and roll tilt at 0.2 Hz (otolith/SCC crossover frequency). The dosage of promethazine was the standard 25 mg, given orally. Both the promethazine and placebo were given about 2 hours before the start of testing and the order of administration was counterbalanced across subjects. Vestibular perceptual thresholds were measured using a 6-dof motion device in the Jenks Vestibular Physiology Laboratory (JVPL) at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI). We found that there was a significant but small effect only on roll tilt perception but we believe that this small effect will not alter our future adaptation results.

Refined Perception and Manual Control Measurement Methodologies and Optimized Experiment Design: The measures of adaptation that will be used have been finalized to include a roll tilt perception, manual control task, and subjective reports of motion sickness. Roll tilt perception will be measured from the orientation of a haptic indicator during static and dynamic tilts. The manual control task will be a closed loop task in which the subjects will use the indicator bar to maintain an upright orientation in response to a pseudo-random roll tilt disturbance. Human subject pilot testing of both of these tasks (upright and supine) has been used to investigate and resolve practical implementation issues as well as to inform the simulation tool. Informed by pilot data, the simulation tool allows us to explore where improvements can be made in experiment parameters such as length, profile tilt angles, static and continuous tilt time, and frequency of subject reports.

Hardware/Software Development: A considerable effort has focused on software and hardware development necessary for our planned experiments. The chair on the centrifuge, which was originally in the upright position, has been moved into the supine position, as it should be to allow for our designed altered gravity levels in our future experiments. During safety testing, we were faced with an unexpected issue with the centrifuge concerning a position control error. This problem delayed our progress but the entire team worked to resolve the issue. We were able to complete extensive human subject safety testing for the device and we are now quickly moving forward with testing and data collection.

Exercise and Artificial Gravity (AG): Graduate student, Ana Diaz, completed her PhD thesis investigating the combination of exercise and centrifugation. This research was inspired by the AGREE proposal, which intended to construct a short-radius centrifuge in an International Space Station (ISS) module. Subjects were tested with 3 different levels of AG and ergometer exercise. Results were used to modify and refine a cardiovascular model that captured the transient hemodynamic responses to exercise under AG.

 

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 04/10/2019) Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Clark TK, Newman MC, Oman CM, Merfeld DM, Young LR. "Modeling Human Orientation Perception in Altered Gravity." 2015 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 13-15, 2015.

2015 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 13-15, 2015. , Jan-2015

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Diaz A, Young LR. "Effects of Artificial Gravity on the Cardiovascular System: Computational Approach." 66th International Astronautical Congress, Jerusalem, Israel, October 12-16, 2015.

66th International Astronautical Congress, Jerusalem, Israel, October 12-16, 2015. , Oct-2015

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Diaz A, Beckers NWM, Clark TK, Sherwood D, Oman C, Young LR, Karmali F. "Development of a Countermeasure to Enhance Sensorimotor Adaptation to Altered Gravity Levels." 2015 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 13-15, 2015.

2015 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 13-15, 2015. , Jan-2015

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Diaz A, Young LR. "Artificial Gravity and Exercise on the MIT Compact-radius Centrifuge." 2015 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 13-15, 2015.

2015 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 13-15, 2015. , Jan-2015

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Clark TK, Newman MC, Merfeld DM, Oman CM, Young LR. "Human manual control performance in hyper-gravity." Experimental Brain Research. 2015 May;233(5):1409-20. Epub 2015 Feb 5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00221-015-4215-y ; PubMed PMID: 25651980 , May-2015
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Clark TK, Newman MC, Oman CM, Merfeld DM, Young LR. "Human perceptual overestimation of whole body roll tilt in hypergravity." Journal of Neurophysiology. 2015 Apr 1;113(7):2062-77. Epub 2014 Dec 24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/jn.00095.2014 ; PubMed PMID: 25540216; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4416546 , Apr-2015
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Clark TK, Newman MC, Oman CM, Merfeld DM, Young LR. "Modeling human perception of orientation in altered gravity." Front Syst Neurosci. 2015 May 5;9:68. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnsys.2015.00068 , May-2015
Dissertations and Theses Diaz A. "Exercise under Artificial Gravity – Experimental and Computational Approaches." Ph.D. thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 2015. , Jun-2015
Papers from Meeting Proceedings Diaz A, Heldt T, Young LR. "Cardiovascular responses to artificial gravity combined with exercise." 2015 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana, March 7-14, 2015.

In: 2015 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Digest of Papers, 11 p. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/AERO.2015.7118969 ; accessed 10/20/15. , Mar-2015

Download in PDF pdf     
Fiscal Year: FY 2014  Task Last Updated:  09/08/2014 
PI Name: Young, Laurence R. Sc.D. 
Project Title: Countermeasures to Reduce Sensorimotor Impairment and Space Motion Sickness Resulting from Altered Gravity Levels 
   
Division Name: Human Research 
Program/Discipline--
Element/Subdiscipline:
NSBRI--Sensorimotor Adaptation Team 
 
Joint Agency Name:   TechPort:  Yes 
Human Research Program Elements: (1) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sensorimotor (SM):Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft, Associated Systems and Immediate Vehicle Egress Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Space Flight
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SM24:SM24: Determine if the individual capacity to produce adaptive change (rate and extent) in sensorimotor function to transitions in gravitational environments can be predicted with preflight tests of sensorimotor adaptability (IRP Rev F)
 (2) SM27:Determine the most optimal pharmacological and sensorimotor countermeasure combination that reduces Space Motion Sickness (SMS) while minimizing side effects (IRP Rev F)
Space Biology Element: None
Space Biology Cross-Element Discipline: None
Space Biology Special Category: None
PI Email: lry@mit.edu  Fax:  617-258-8111 
PI Organization Type: UNIVERSITY  Phone: 617-253-7759  
Organization Name: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
PI Address 1: Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics 
PI Address 2: 77 Massachusetts Avenue 
PI Web Page:  
City: Cambridge  State: MA 
Zip Code: 02139-4301  Congressional District: 
Comments:  
Project Type: GROUND  Solicitation:  2012 Crew Health NNJ12ZSA002N 
Start Date: 08/01/2013  End Date:  07/31/2016 
No. of Post Docs: No. of PhD Degrees: 
No. of PhD Candidates: No. of Master' Degrees: 
No. of Master's Candidates: No. of Bachelor's Degrees: 
No. of Bachelor's Candidates: Monitoring Center:  NSBRI 
Contact Monitor:   Contact Phone:   
Contact Email:  
Flight Program:  
Flight Assignment:

 

Key Personnel Changes/Previous PI:  
COI Name (Institution): Merfeld, Daniel   ( Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary )
Oman, Charles   ( Massachusetts Institute of Technology )
Karmali, Faisal   ( Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary )
Priesol, Adrian   ( Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary ) 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-SA03401 
Performance Goal No.:  
Performance Goal Text:

 

Task Description: The effect of altered gravity on astronauts' perceptions and motor skills is significant as it threatens the health, well being, and performance of crews. Astronauts experience gravitational transitions during launch from Earth's gravitational level to microgravity in space, then to partial gravity if landing on the Moon, Mars, or Martian moons, followed by a return to microgravity, and finally re-entry back to Earth. In addition, the use of Artificial Gravity (AG) from an on-board centrifuge also presents an altered gravity challenge, in particular during transitions between gravity levels. During each of these g-transitions astronauts must adapt their sensorimotor programs to coordinate perceptual and motor capabilities and function successfully and safely. The ability to identify and predict individual differences in this adaptability is essential to the development of pharmacological and training interventions for future crew members. This project takes a new approach which could lead to an effective, practical, and acceptable protocol for pre-adapting astronauts to space flight. By using the gravito-inertial alterations possible with centrifugation in different body orientations we will quantify an individual's sensory adaptation capability using measures of sensorimotor impairment and motion sickness under altered gravity. We will use these results to predict and to minimize the consequences of movement in any other gravity environment. In combination with appropriate use of a drug (promethazine) we anticipate the development of a new pre-flight adaptation protocol to minimize disorientation and motion sickness and to overcome disturbances in manual control. An important step in the development will be the determination of the benefit and risks associated with the use of promethazine in conjunction with adaptation training.

The specific aims and hypothesis for this project are: SA1) Demonstrate that individual differences exist in the ability to adapt to gravitational transitions, and can be measured quantitatively by measures of subjective orientation, closed loop manual control, and subjective motions sickness reports. Preliminary data analysis show individual differences in performance of the manual control task in terms of initial performance decrement and adaptation time constant. Apart from individual differences, subjects consistently show a performance decrement in the closed-loop manual control task on initial exposure to altered-gravity, followed by an performance return back to baseline performance.

SA2) Test whether pre-training by adapting to one altered gravity environment can improve sensorimotor adaptation in another altered gravity environment.

SA3) Test whether the leading pharmacological agent, promethazine, affects either basic vestibular perceptual function or the adaptation rate to an altered gravity environment and the associated motion sickness symptoms.

SA4) Develop and test a combined pre-adaptation training and pharmacological intervention protocol that can both improve sensorimotor adaptation and reduce the associate motion sickness.

The hypotheses are: H1) Individual differences exist in the ability to adapt to altered gravity environments and these differences can be predicted by measuring adaptability in one altered gravity environment. H2) Pre-adaptation training in one altered gravity environment will improve sensorimotor adaptation in another altered gravity environment. H3) Promethazine will reduce motion sickness, but will have no influence on either basic vestibular perceptual function or sensorimotor adaptation to altered gravity environments.

Deliverables include a methodology for measuring an individual's capacity to adapt to an altered gravity environment using affordable centrifuge tests, and a combined pharmacological and pre-adaptation training intervention to reduce the severity of motion sickness and sensorimotor impairment during gravitational transitions.

 

Rationale for HRP Directed Research:

 

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Sensorimotor function is altered during gravitational transitions, such as those that occur during space flight. Related space motion sickness also occurs regularly during gravity transitions and impacts performance and operations. Astronauts must remain functional during the critical mission phases that occur during or temporally close to gravity transitions, particularly for vehicle control and landing tasks. This project presents an experimental approach aimed at developing combined pharmacological and pre-training countermeasures, using a centrifuge to change the G-level. Specifically, we propose a combination of promethazine application and altered-gravity pre-training to reduce the severity of space motion sickness and sensorimotor impairment during gravitational transitions. Understanding sensorimotor impairment in altered gravity environments is also relevant for Earth applications. For example, it is important to understand how altered gravity exposure affects pilot performance, including perception and manual control, since the consequences could lead to a loss of a vehicle. Pre-training protocols based on our findings could be also applicable to pilots in order to prevent motion sickness and sensorimotor impairment related to altered gravity environments. In addition, sensorimotor rehabilitation is critically important here on Earth for elderly and patient populations. Our findings on sensorimotor adaptation to altered gravity will likely be translatable to the learning and adaptation required during sensorimotor rehabilitation. Understanding sensorimotor adaptation mechanisms, enhancing adaptative rates, and being able to predict individuals who may have trouble with sensorimotor adaptation are all important topics for sensorimotor rehabilitation patients here on Earth.

 

Task Progress: In the previous year, we focused our efforts on the design and preparation of the experiments. We will implement 5 different experiments to tests our hypothesis.

In Experiment 1 we aim to test whether an individual's adaptation rate in one altered gravity environment can be predicted by an individual's adaptation in a different gravity environment. For this purpose we will test if an individual's adaptation rate in -1.5 Gz (headward centrifugal force) will predict their adaptation rate in +1.5 Gz (footward centrifugal force). Since we expect adaptation to one environment to temporarily influence an individual's ability to adapt to other environments, we will separate these two adaptation conditions by at least six months.

In Experiment 2, we will test the hypothesis that pre-training by adapting to one altered gravity (-1.5 Gz) will temporarily enhance an individual's ability to adapt to another altered gravity environment (+1.5 Gz). For this purpose we will separate the pre-training and testing sessions by 1 week.

In Experiment 3 we will test the impact that promethazine has on basic vestibular function using perceptual thresholds, tilt perception, and manual control measures.

In Experiment 4, we will test whether promethazine influences adaptation to altered gravity. Specifically, we will study adaptation to a +1.5 Gz environment with and without promethazine application. We hypothesize that motion sickness will be reduced with promethazine, but that adaptation rate will be unaffected.

Finally in Experiment 5, we will combine the promethazine use with the pre-training countermeasure. We hypothesize that the combined intervention will result in reduced motion sickness and improved sensorimotor adaptation during adaptation to an altered gravity environment (+1.5 Gz).

A considerable effort has focused on software and hardware development to be used during the experiments. A key component for all experiments is a somatosensory joystick used to report the perceived tilt angle during experiments, as well as to do the manual control task. Furthermore, the centrifuge at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) is being modified to include this joystick, as well as to facilitate orienting the device in a supine mode.

 

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 04/10/2019) Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Clark TK, Newman MC, Oman CM, Merfeld DM, Young LR. "Human Perception of Roll Tilt in Hyper-Gravity: Experiments and Modeling." XXVIIIth Barany Society Meeting, Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 25-28, 2014.

XXVIIIth Barany Society Meeting, Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 25-28, 2014. , May-2014

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Galvan RC, Bloomberg JJ, Mulavara AP, Clark TK, Merfeld DM, Oman CM. "Improving Sensorimotor Function and Adaptation using Stochastic Vestibular Stimulation." 2014 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-13, 2014.

2014 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-13, 2014. http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/hrp2014/pdf/3102.pdf , Feb-2014

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Beckers NWM, Young LR, Karmali F, Clark TK. "Studying the Innate Capacity for Sensorimotor Adaptation to Altered Gravity Levels." 2014 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-13, 2014.

2014 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-13, 2014. http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/hrp2014/pdf/3225.pdf , Feb-2014

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Young LR, Beckers NWM, Karmali F, Clark TK. "Countermeasures to Reduce Sensorimotor Impairment and Space Motion Sickness Results from Altered Gravity Levels." 2014 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-13, 2014.

2014 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-13, 2014. http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/hrp2014/pdf/3196.pdf , Feb-2014

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Oman CM, Cullen KE. "Brainstem processing of vestibular sensory exafference: implications for motion sickness etiology." Exp Brain Res. 2014 Aug;232(8):2483-92. Epub 2014 May 18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00221-014-3973-2 ; PubMed PMID: 24838552; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4130651 , Aug-2014
Awards Clark TK. "2014 Stanley Roscoe Award for Best Doctoral Thesis from the Aerospace Human Factors Association (AsHFA). Thesis title: 'Human Perception and Control of Vehicle Roll Tilt in Hyper-Gravity,' May 2014." May-2014
Papers from Meeting Proceedings Clark TK, Newman MC, Merfeld DM, Young LR. "Pilot control and stabilization of a rate-controlled vehicle in hyper-gravity." 2014 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, March 1-8, 2014.

In: 2014 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Digest of Papers, p. 1-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/AERO.2014.6836299 ; accessed 9/17/2014. , Mar-2014

Download in PDF pdf     
Fiscal Year: FY 2013  Task Last Updated:  02/06/2014 
PI Name: Young, Laurence R. Sc.D. 
Project Title: Countermeasures to Reduce Sensorimotor Impairment and Space Motion Sickness Resulting from Altered Gravity Levels 
   
Division Name: Human Research 
Program/Discipline--
Element/Subdiscipline:
NSBRI--Sensorimotor Adaptation Team 
 
Joint Agency Name:   TechPort:  Yes 
Human Research Program Elements: (1) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sensorimotor (SM):Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft, Associated Systems and Immediate Vehicle Egress Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Space Flight
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SM24:SM24: Determine if the individual capacity to produce adaptive change (rate and extent) in sensorimotor function to transitions in gravitational environments can be predicted with preflight tests of sensorimotor adaptability (IRP Rev F)
 (2) SM27:Determine the most optimal pharmacological and sensorimotor countermeasure combination that reduces Space Motion Sickness (SMS) while minimizing side effects (IRP Rev F)
Space Biology Element: None
Space Biology Cross-Element Discipline: None
Space Biology Special Category: None
PI Email: lry@mit.edu  Fax:  617-258-8111 
PI Organization Type: UNIVERSITY  Phone: 617-253-7759  
Organization Name: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
PI Address 1: Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics 
PI Address 2: 77 Massachusetts Avenue 
PI Web Page:  
City: Cambridge  State: MA 
Zip Code: 02139-4301  Congressional District: 
Comments:  
Project Type: GROUND  Solicitation:  2012 Crew Health NNJ12ZSA002N 
Start Date: 08/01/2013  End Date:  07/31/2016 
No. of Post Docs:   No. of PhD Degrees:   
No. of PhD Candidates:   No. of Master' Degrees:   
No. of Master's Candidates:   No. of Bachelor's Degrees:   
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:   Monitoring Center:  NSBRI 
Contact Monitor:   Contact Phone:   
Contact Email:  
Flight Program:  
Flight Assignment:

 

Key Personnel Changes/Previous PI:  
COI Name (Institution): Merfeld, Daniel   ( Massachusetts Eye And Ear Infirmary )
Oman, Charles   ( Massachusetts Institute of Technology )
Karmali, Faisal   ( Massachusetts Eye And Ear Infirmary ) 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-SA03401 
Performance Goal No.:  
Performance Goal Text:

 

Task Description: Adaptation to altered gravity has been of concern from the earliest reports of space motion sickness, through the Apollo exploration era, and into current planning of exploration missions. The proposed research program, to be conducted by a collaboration of highly experienced space flight investigators from MIT and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard, takes a new approach which could lead to an effective, practical, and acceptable protocol for pre-adapting astronauts to space flight. By using the gravitoinertial alterations possible with centrifugation in different body orientations we will quantify an individual’s sensory adaptation capability and use it to predict and to minimize the consequences of movement in any other gravity environment – eventually including weightlessness. In combination with appropriate use of a drug (promethazine) we anticipate the development of a new pre-flight adaptation protocol to minimize disorientation and motion sickness and to overcome disturbances in manual control. An important step in the development will be the determination of the benefit and risks associated with the use of promethazine in conjunction with adaptation training.

 

Rationale for HRP Directed Research:

 

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: 0

 

Task Progress: New project for FY2013.

 

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 04/10/2019) Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing