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Project Title:  Quantification of Response to Virtual Reality-based Sensory Stimulation for Relaxation and Therapeutic Release in ICE Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2020 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Start Date: 09/09/2020  
End Date: 09/08/2023  
Task Last Updated: 10/18/2020 
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Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Stankovic, Aleksandra  Ph.D. / Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School 
Address:  Human Performance Laboratory 
149 13th St 
Charlestown , MA 02129-2020 
Email: astankovic1@mgh.harvard.edu 
Phone: 908-391-1177  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: NON-PROFIT 
Organization Name: Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Endsley, Tristan  Ph.D. Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc 
Duda, Kevin  Ph.D. Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc 
Buckey, Jay  M.D. Dartmouth College 
Bovard, Pooja  Ph.D. Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. 80NSSC20K1852 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Williams, Thomas  
Center Contact: 281-483-8773 
thomas.j.will1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2017-2018 HERO 80JSC017N0001-HHCHFBP: Human Health Countermeasures, Human Factors, Behavioral Performance. Appendix D 
Grant/Contract No.: 80NSSC20K1852 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:  
No. of PhD Candidates:  
No. of Master's Candidates:  
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No. of Master's Degrees:  
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Bmed:Risk of Adverse Behavioral Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders
(2) HSIA:Risk of Adverse Outcome Due to Inadequate Human Systems Integration Architecture (IRP Rev L)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) BMed-101:We need to identify, quantify, and validate the key selection factors for astronaut cognitive and behavioral strengths (e.g., resiliency) and operationally-relevant performance threats for increasingly Earth independent, long-duration, autonomous, and/or long-distance exploration missions (IRP Rev L)
(2) BMed-102:Given exposures to spaceflight hazards (space radiation, isolation), how do we identify individual susceptibility, monitor molecular/biomarkers and acceptable thresholds, and validate behavioral health and CNS/neurological/neuropsychological performance measures and domains of relevance to exploration class missions? (IRP Rev L)
(3) BMed-103:What are the validated, efficacious treatments (individual or Team-based) and/or countermeasures to prevent adverse behavioral conditions, CNS/neurological, and/or psychiatric disorders caused by either single and/or integrated exposures to spaceflight hazards during exploration class missions? (IRP Rev L)
(4) BMed-104:Given the potentially negative spaceflight associated CNS changes and behavioral experiences of stressors during long-duration missions (e.g., isolation, confinement, reduced sensory stimulation, altered gravity, space radiation), what are validated modifications to habitat/vehicle to mitigate stressors impacting on CNS / cognition / behavioral health? (IRP Rev L)
(5) BMed-105:Given the potentially negative spaceflight associated CNS/cognitive changes and behavioral experiences of stressors during long-duration missions (e.g., isolation, confinement, reduced sensory stimulation, altered gravity, space radiation), what are validated medical or dietary countermeasures to mitigate stressors impacting on CNS / cognition / behavioral health? (IRP Rev L)
(6) BMed-107:What are the long-term changes and risks to astronaut health post-mission that, when using a continuity of care model, helps retrospectively identify and understand individual susceptibility (e.g., hereditary, dose, thresholds) to mitigate adverse CNS, cognitive, and behavioral health changes resulting from long-duration exploration missions, promoting the behavioral health of current and future crews? (IRP Rev L)
(7) HSIA-201:We need to evaluate the demands of future exploration habitat/vehicle systems and mission scenarios (e.g. increased automation, multi-modal communication) on individuals and teams, and determine the risks these demands pose to crew health and performance (IRP Rev L)
(8) HSIA-401:We need to determine how HSI can be applied in the vehicle/habitat and computer interface Design Phase to mitigate potential decrements in operationally-relevant performance (e.g. problem-solving, execution procedures), during increasingly earth-independent, future exploration missions (including in-mission and at landing) (IRP Rev L)
Task Description: The environmental conditions of prolonged spaceflight missions pose medical and psychological risks for astronauts. As identified by NASA Human Research Program (HRP), long duration exposure to an isolated, confined, and extreme (ICE) environment contributes to the risk of adverse cognitive or behavioral events which may compromise mission safety and success. Previous work has suggested a link between the reduced sensory stimulation associated with such environments and a loss of pleasure, satisfaction, and engagement ([1], [2], [3]). Effective countermeasures are necessary to promote individual behavioral health and performance by providing increased sensory stimulation, offering novelty, preventing boredom, reducing stress, and increasing attention. Draper Laboratory, in conjunction with collaborators at Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine, will investigate Virtual Reality (VR) stimulation for relaxation and therapeutic release to mitigate the risk of adverse cognitive and behavioral effects in spaceflight-like isolated, confined environments.

This study will expand upon previous work conducted by our Dartmouth collaborators which investigated the feasibility of nature-based sensory stimulation using VR to promote stress management and relaxation ([4]) by (1) adding an interactive component to the VR-based sensory stimulation, to promote engagement and to facilitate therapeutic release; (2) deploying and testing this platform in ICE for feasibility and validation; (3) incorporating non-intrusive physiological monitoring; and (4) examining quantifiable neurophysiological response to stimulation exposure, individual variability in responses, and longitudinal and dose-response characteristics of exposure impacts.

References:

[1] Kanas N, Sandal G, Boyd JE, Gushin VI, Manzey D, North R, (...), Inoue N. (2009). Psychology and culture during long-duration space missions. Acta Astronautica, 64(7-8), 659-77.

[2] Stuster J. (2011). Bold endeavors: Lessons from polar and space exploration. Naval Institute Press.

[3] Holland AW. (2000). Psychology of spaceflight. Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments, 5(1), 4-20.

[4] Brasher KS, Dew AB, Kilminster SG, Bridger RS. (2010). Occupational stress in submariners: the impact of isolated and confined work on psychological well-being. Ergonomics, 53(3), 305-313.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits:

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2020 
Task Progress: New project for FY2020.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 06/27/2022) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2020