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Project Title:  Quantifying and Predicting Operationally-Relevant Performance in a Long-Duration Spaceflight Analog Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2021 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Start Date: 08/01/2016  
End Date: 04/30/2023  
Task Last Updated: 06/02/2021 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Strangman, Gary E Ph.D. / Massachusetts General Hospital 
Address:  Department of Psychiatry 
149 13th Street, Suite 2651 
Charlestown , MA 02129-2020 
Email: strang@nmr.mgh.harvard.edu 
Phone: 617-724-0662  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: NON-PROFIT 
Organization Name: Massachusetts General Hospital 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Zhang, Quan  Ph.D. Massachusetts General Hospital 
Ivkovic, Vladimir  Ph.D. Massachusetts General Hospital 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: June 2021 2-yr report: No changes. June 2019 report: Dr. Vladimir Ivkovic is now CoInvestigator on the project.
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NNX16AO30G 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Whitmire, Alexandra  
Center Contact:  
alexandra.m.whitmire@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2015-16 HERO NNJ15ZSA001N-ILSRA. Appendix F: International Life Sciences Research Announcement 
Grant/Contract No.: NNX16AO30G 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
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) Sleep:Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) 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)
(2) Sleep-101:Given each crew member will experience multiple spaceflight hazards simultaneously, we need to identify and characterize the potential additive, antagonistic, or synergistic impacts of multiple stressors (e.g., Space Radiation, Altered Gravity, Isolation, altered immune, altered sleep) on crew sleep-wake cycles and/or circadian shifting, health and/or CNS/cognitive functioning to identify any identified adverse individual or team crew health, and/or operationally-relevant performance outcomes (IRP Rev L)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date changed to 4/30/2023 per JSC Grants Office (Ed., 5/2/22)

NOTE: End date changed to 4/30/2022 per NSSC information (Ed., 4/12/21)

NOTE: End date changed to 4/30/2021 per NSSC information (Ed., 5/4/2020)

NOTE: Changed end date to 9/30/2020 per L. Juliette/HRP (Ed., 2/19/2020)

NOTE: Extended to 1/31/2020 per K. Ohnesorge/HRP JSC (Ed., 5/24/18)

NOTE: Element change to Human Factors & Behavioral Performance; previously Behavioral Health & Performance (Ed., 1/18/17)

Task Description: Exploration spaceflight missions will expose crewmembers to many risks that could affect their performance and mission success. Minimizing such risks will require identifying and validating objective indicators of behavioral health and performance (BMed2 Gap), understanding the contribution of sleep loss on individual behavioral health (Sleep2 Gap), and identifying countermeasures that can reduce these risks (BMed1, BMed6, and Sleep9 Gaps).

Currently the Robotic On-Board Trainer (ROBoT) is used operationally by astronauts both on the ground and on the International Space Station (ISS) to practice Canada Arm activities. Our group is helping adapt ROBoT for research use and for quantitative performance assessment. In addition, our group is developing and testing NINscan-SE: a multi-use system for measuring brain and physiological function. Both ROBoT and NINscan-SE are being characterized and validated in our laboratory, and will undergo analog feasibility testing during the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) C4 and C5 campaigns. In this project, we will deploy both systems to:

Aim 1: Characterize operational task performance changes during 45-day HERA missions, including the roles of time-in-mission, workload, sleep debt, and operational emergencies.

Aim 2: Characterize brain and systemic physiology changes during 45-day HERA missions, including the roles of time-in-mission, workload, sleep debt, and operational emergencies.

Aim 3: Identify physiological or behavioral variables that predict operational performance.

Aim 4: Quantify the influence of behavioral health countermeasures on both operational performance and (neuro)physiological measures.

To achieve these aims, we will recruit up to 32 crewmembers from eight 45-day missions in the HERA facility during Campaigns 4 and 5, plus up to 32 control subjects. HERA and control participants will all perform ROBoT tasks plus undergo physiological monitoring 2x/week, on matching schedules, thus enabling us to differentiate changes in operational performance due to practice over time from any changes due to HERA sequestration. In addition, two “unexpected operational emergency” events will be introduced in the first and last weeks of each HERA mission. These will consist of an acute need to capture a wayward satellite traveling near the limits of Canada Arm capabilities.

We will also work with the Behavioral Health and Performance (BHP) [Ed. note: Element is now known as Human Factors and Behavioral Performance] Element and other HERA investigators to coordinate ROBoT and physiological data collection before, during, and after one or more countermeasure (CM) deployments during the HERA missions. CM(s) may include a lighting intervention, a Virtual Space Station-based behavioral intervention, diet, exercise or some other intervention. The experimental design will depend on the nature of the CM. We will test hypotheses that the CM(s) generate detectable changes in ROBoT performance and rest/task (neuro)physiology recordings. We will also compare ROBoT performance to the standardized Behavioral Core Measures (BCM), if possible.

The knowledge-deliverables of this project will describe: (i) changes in operationally-relevant (ROBoT) performance during the HERA mission in a well-controlled analog study of substantial size; (ii) changes in cerebral and systemic physiology associated with HERA mission parameters as well as operational performance; (iii) identification of potential predictors of future ROBoT performance; and (iv) the influence of the investigated countermeasure(s) on operational performance and physiology.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The ROBoT system—and the HERA isolation protocol—are quite specific to NASA spaceflight operations and hence have relatively few direct Earth applications. However, the ROBoT spacecraft-capture simulations represent a highly skilled, complex operational performance task. It could thus be used as a comparison task in concert with detailed cognitive testing to help dissect the cognitive components complex tasks as well as the influence of other physiological stressors (e.g., sleep deprivation, alcohol consumption, medical radiation) on the performance of such tasks. Use of different complex tasks with the same approach could be useful in assessing and predicting performance in a wide range of other operational environments (diving, pilots, military, surgeons, etc.).

Regarding NINscan-SE, no current NIRS (near-infrared spectroscopy), EEG, or polysomnography device has both the portability and the multi-use features of the system we will be deploying. This system could thus have substantial novel Earth applications. Hospital monitoring applications could include long-duration, non-invasive brain monitoring in the NeuroICU following stroke or traumatic injury, for which no similar technology exists. Real-time, in-office brain activation assessment could also be supported, for assessment of psychiatric states, for monitoring the neural effects of cardiovascular or psychoactive drugs or other therapies, or for brain monitoring during rehabilitation. Mobile monitoring could perhaps have an even larger impact outside the hospital setting. A wearable monitor would enable ambulatory syncope monitoring, or multi-parameter ambulatory epilepsy monitoring. If deployed in emergency settings, NINscan-SE could potentially be used to detect cerebral or abdominal hemorrhage, ischemia, and/or cortical spreading depression by first responders. Home monitoring uses include various sleep disorders, as well as various commercial possibilities.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2021 
Task Progress: The goal of this project is to assess operationally-relevant behavioral performance over 45-day isolation and confinement periods in the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA), as well as associated neurophysiological status during HERA missions. Operational performance is being evaluated using the ROBoT-r task—an operationally used track-and-capture task for grappling incoming resupply vehicles using Canadarm2. This task was modified for research use as part of the separate Behavioral Core Measures project. Brain and systemic physiological assessments include resting-state connectivity and functional brain activation during the ROBoT-r task trials using our near-infrared spectroscopy and imaging (NIRS/NIRI) based NINscan devices, as well as EKG, EOG, and EEG during ROBoT-r performance.

In Years 4-5 of this project, the following tasks have been completed.

HERA Data Collection: In the past year, we completed data collection for the remainder of HERA Campaign 5, with the final subjects existing HERA just prior the imposition of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in March 2020. This completed the in-HERA data collections (C4 and C5) for the project. When not under lockdown, we continued to recruit HERA control subjects to match the HERA participants. To date we have completed running n=10 subjects, with two subjects needing to be aborted related to COVID-19.

HERA Data Analysis: To date, all analyses remain preliminary, given the ongoing recruitment of control subjects. However, a number of features have been clearly identified.

• Weighted scores increase steadily and significantly throughout the ~60-day pre-, during-, and post-HERA periods, representing improved accuracy at point of contact between Canadarm2 and the HTV-II vehicle. The proportion of successful captures also increases over this period.

• Duration to complete vehicle capture decreases steadily and significantly over this same period. Increased speed combined with the improved performance is a hallmark of learning, which appears to continue throughout the 60-day missions (which represent ~10-12 hours of hands-on ROBoT-r performance).

• Performance is significantly affected by run difficulty, with each step-up in difficulty resulting in significantly poorer and slower performance.

• There were notable and significant differences in performance across the different missions/crews.

• Physiological data from NINscan demonstrated significant differences between HERA crews and controls in heart rate (HERA>Controls). Both groups exhibited changes in heart rate, as well as frontal pole and dorsolateral prefrontal brain activation within runs, suggesting progressive “activation” as the more challenging end of the run approached.

We are still finalizing dataset cleaning and preparing our analyses. Once complete, we will conduct statistical modeling to address our three specific aims: (1) characterizing changes in ROBoT-r performance in HERA, (2) characterizing brain and systemic physiology changes during HERA missions, and (3) identifying predictive brain and systemic physiological biomarkers for ROBoT-r performance.

Given the limited number of controls, we cannot yet assess whether or not there are firm conclusions regarding differences between HERA crewmembers and controls, for either behavioral performance or for physiological variables.

Dissemination: The results to date of ROBoT-r data collection were presented at the Human Research Program Investigators' Workshop (HRP IWS) conference in Galveston, TX in late Jan 2020, and additional findings at the virtual HRP IWS meeting in early Feb 2021. Portions of this effort were included in the Master’s Thesis of Dr. Stijn Thoolen at Kings College, London, and one peer reviewed paper has been published.

Remainder of Year 5: In the remaining 2 months of grant year 5 we anticipate completing the following activities:

Data Collection: We plan to ramp-up the HERA control recruitment and data collection, given the rapid loosening of COVID-19 restrictions on research and masking. We will run additional subjects through the end of this grant year and into the next year to make up for time lost due to COVID.

Data Quality Control: We will conduct a detailed data quality-control assessment for all C4 and C5 datasets, building a complete, standardized dataset for eventual delivery to NASA. This process will include identifying more anomalies (not just missing, brief dropout, noise bursts, erroneous values, etc.) in all datasets so that analysis programs can be robust to such data features.

Data Analysis: All findings to date represent the results of interim analyses, given the limited number of control subjects. We are working to finalize analyses of the responses of ROBoT-r performance to HERA countermeasures and submit a manuscript for peer review by the end of this grant year.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 03/21/2022) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Ivkovic V, Sommers B, Cefaratti DA, Newman G, Thomas DW, Alexander DG, Strangman GE. "Operationally relevant behavior assessment using the Robotic On-Board Trainer for Research (ROBoT-r)." Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2019 Sep 1;90(9):819-25. https://doi.org/10.3357/AMHP.5324.2019 ; PMID: 31426899 , Sep-2019
Project Title:  Quantifying and Predicting Operationally-Relevant Performance in a Long-Duration Spaceflight Analog Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2019 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Start Date: 08/01/2016  
End Date: 09/30/2020  
Task Last Updated: 06/01/2019 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Strangman, Gary E Ph.D. / Massachusetts General Hospital 
Address:  Department of Psychiatry 
149 13th Street, Suite 2651 
Charlestown , MA 02129-2020 
Email: strang@nmr.mgh.harvard.edu 
Phone: 617-724-0662  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: NON-PROFIT 
Organization Name: Massachusetts General Hospital 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Zhang, Quan  Ph.D. Massachusetts General Hospital 
Ivkovic, Vladimir  Ph.D. Massachusetts General Hospital 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: June 2019 report: Dr. Vladimir Ivkovic is now CoInvestigator on the project.
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NNX16AO30G 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Williams, Thomas  
Center Contact: 281-483-8773 
thomas.j.will1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2015-16 HERO NNJ15ZSA001N-ILSRA. Appendix F: International Life Sciences Research Announcement 
Grant/Contract No.: NNX16AO30G 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
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) Sleep:Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) 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)
(2) Sleep-101:Given each crew member will experience multiple spaceflight hazards simultaneously, we need to identify and characterize the potential additive, antagonistic, or synergistic impacts of multiple stressors (e.g., Space Radiation, Altered Gravity, Isolation, altered immune, altered sleep) on crew sleep-wake cycles and/or circadian shifting, health and/or CNS/cognitive functioning to identify any identified adverse individual or team crew health, and/or operationally-relevant performance outcomes (IRP Rev L)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: Changed end date to 9/30/2020 per L. Juliette/HRP (Ed., 2/19/2020)

NOTE: Extended to 1/31/2020 per K. Ohnesorge/HRP JSC (Ed., 5/24/18)

NOTE: Element change to Human Factors & Behavioral Performance; previously Behavioral Health & Performance (Ed., 1/18/17)

Task Description: Exploration spaceflight missions will expose crewmembers to many risks that could affect their performance and mission success. Minimizing such risks will require identifying and validating objective indicators of behavioral health and performance (BMed2 Gap), understanding the contribution of sleep loss on individual behavioral health (Sleep2 Gap), and identifying countermeasures that can reduce these risks (BMed1, BMed6, and Sleep9 Gaps).

Currently the Robotic On-Board Trainer (ROBoT) is used operationally by astronauts both on the ground and on the International Space Station (ISS) to practice Canada Arm activities. Our group is helping adapt ROBoT for research use and for quantitative performance assessment. In addition, our group is developing and testing NINscan-SE: a multi-use system for measuring brain and physiological function. Both ROBoT and NINscan-SE are being characterized and validated in our laboratory, and will undergo analog feasibility testing during the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) C4 and C5 campaigns. In this project, we will deploy both systems to:

Aim 1: Characterize operational task performance changes during 45-day HERA missions, including the roles of time-in-mission, workload, sleep debt, and operational emergencies.

Aim 2: Characterize brain and systemic physiology changes during 45-day HERA missions, including the roles of time-in-mission, workload, sleep debt, and operational emergencies.

Aim 3: Identify physiological or behavioral variables that predict operational performance.

Aim 4: Quantify the influence of behavioral health countermeasures on both operational performance and (neuro)physiological measures.

To achieve these aims, we will recruit up to 32 crewmembers from eight 45-day missions in the HERA facility during Campaigns 4 and 5, plus up to 32 control subjects. HERA and control participants will all perform ROBoT tasks plus undergo physiological monitoring 2x/week, on matching schedules, thus enabling us to differentiate changes in operational performance due to practice over time from any changes due to HERA sequestration. In addition, two “unexpected operational emergency” events will be introduced in the first and last weeks of each HERA mission. These will consist of an acute need to capture a wayward satellite traveling near the limits of Canada Arm capabilities.

We will also work with the Behavioral Health and Performance (BHP) Element and other HERA investigators to coordinate ROBoT and physiological data collection before, during, and after one or more countermeasure (CM) deployments during the HERA missions. CM(s) may include a lighting intervention, a Virtual Space Station-based behavioral intervention, diet, exercise or some other intervention. The experimental design will depend on the nature of the CM. We will test hypotheses that the CM(s) generate detectable changes in ROBoT performance and rest/task (neuro)physiology recordings. We will also compare ROBoT performance to the standardized Behavioral Core Measures (BCM), if possible.

The knowledge-deliverables of this project will describe: (i) changes in operationally-relevant (ROBoT) performance during the HERA mission in a well-controlled analog study of substantial size; (ii) changes in cerebral and systemic physiology associated with HERA mission parameters as well as operational performance; (iii) identification of potential predictors of future ROBoT performance; and (iv) the influence of the investigated countermeasure(s) on operational performance and physiology.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The ROBoT system—and the HERA isolation protocol—are quite specific to NASA spaceflight operations and hence have relatively few direct Earth applications. However, the ROBoT spacecraft-capture simulations represent a highly skilled, complex operational performance task. It could thus be used as a comparison task in concert with detailed cognitive testing to help dissect the cognitive components complex tasks as well as the influence of other physiological stressors (e.g., sleep deprivation, alcohol consumption, medical radiation) on the performance of such tasks. Use of different complex tasks with the same approach could be useful in assessing and predicting performance in a wide range of other operational environments (diving, pilots, military, surgeons, etc.).

Regarding NINscan-SE, no current NIRS (near-infrared spectroscopy), EEG, or polysomnography device has both the portability and the multi-use features of the system we will be deploying. This system could thus have substantial novel Earth applications. Hospital monitoring applications could include long-duration, non-invasive brain monitoring in the NeuroICU following stroke or traumatic injury, for which no similar technology exists. Real-time, in-office brain activation assessment could also be supported, for assessment of psychiatric states, for monitoring the neural effects of cardiovascular or psychoactive drugs or other therapies, or for brain monitoring during rehabilitation. Mobile monitoring could perhaps have an even larger impact outside the hospital setting. A wearable monitor would enable ambulatory syncope monitoring, or multi-parameter ambulatory epilepsy monitoring. If deployed in emergency settings, NINscan-SE could potentially be used to detect cerebral or abdominal hemorrhage, ischemia, and/or cortical spreading depression by first responders. Home monitoring uses include various sleep disorders, as well as various commercial possibilities.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2019 
Task Progress: The goal of this project is to assess operationally-relevant behavioral performance over 45-day isolation and confinement periods in the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA), as well as associated neurophysiological status during this period. Operational performance is being evaluated using the ROBoT-r task—an operationally used track-and-capture task for grappling incoming resupply vehicles using Canadarm2. This task was modified for research use as part of the separate Behavioral Core Measures project. Neurophysiological assessments include resting-state connectivity and functional brain activation during the ROBoT-r task trials using our near-infrared spectroscopy and imaging (NIRS/NIRI) based NINscan devices.

In Year 3 of this project, the following tasks have been completed.

ROBoT-r v6.3 Software Deployment: While ROBoT-r v6.2 remained deployed in HERA for Campaign 4, v6.3 was deployed for Campaign 5. This upgrade included an important upgrade that prevents any accidental bumping of the hand controllers between trials from causing a trial abort, as well as a few minor modifications to the feedback displays provided after each trial. These display modifications were made based on discussions with ROBoT-r trainers to ensure consistency of feedback between research and operations use of the ROBoT-r task. In addition, at the start of HERA C5M2, a patch was deployed to speed up the recycling process between ROBoT-r runs to help maintain the task timing and schedule for ROBoT-r performance.

HERA Data Collection: In the past year, we completed data collection for HERA Campaign 4 Mission 5, HERA Campaign 5 Mission 1, and initiated data collection for HERA Campaign 5 Mission 2. In each case, Dr. Ivkovic traveled to Houston to confirm appropriate setup of the system and conducted all crew familiarization (with both ROBoT-r and NINscan-SE), all crew training, and all baseline data collection. ROBoT-r and NINscan-SE data was also validated (to confirm the appropriate data was being collected) prior to hatch-closing for each mission. Data collection included the ROBoT-r behavioral performance data and multi-modal NINscan brain and physiological data.

In addition, following the finalization of the HERA C4M5 crew, we began recruiting control subjects at Massachusetts General Hospital for HERA Campaign 4. To date, we have recruited n=10 control subjects, and completed running n=7, with no off-nominal data collection issues.

HERA Data Analysis: Analyses to date remain preliminary, given the limited number of control subjects. However, a number of features have been clearly identified.

• Weighted scores increase steadily and significantly throughout the ~60-day pre-/during-/post-HERA periods, representing improved accuracy at point of contact between Canadarm2 and the HTV-II vehicle. The proportion of successful captures also increases over this period.

• Duration to completing vehicle capture decreases steadily and significantly over this same period. Increased speed combined with the improved performance is a hallmark of learning, which appears to continue throughout the 60 day missions (which represent ~10-12 hours of hands-on ROBoT-r performance).

• Performance is significantly affected by run difficulty, with the highest difficulty resulting in significantly poorer and slower performance.

• There were notable and significant differences in overall performance across crews.

• In preliminary comparisons between HERA subjects and controls, we found controls performed slightly but significantly worse than HERA participants overall. Interestingly, controls performed better but slower in the high difficulty levels, suggesting a somewhat different strategy (slow and careful) compared to HERA subjects (faster but less accurate).

• Physiological data from NINscan demonstrated significant differences between HERA crews and controls in heart rate (HERA>Controls). Both groups exhibited changes in heart rate, as well as frontal pole and dorsolateral prefrontal brain activation within runs, suggesting progressive “activation” as the more challenging end of the run approached.

Given the limited number of controls, the above findings are preliminary and we cannot state any firm conclusions regarding the differences between HERA crewmembers and controls, for either behavioral performance or for physiological variables.

Dissemination: The results to date of ROBoT-r data collection were presented at the Human Research Program Investigator Workshop (HRP IWS) conference in Galveston, TX in late Jan 2019, and portions of this effort were included in the Master’s Thesis of Dr. Stijn Thoolen at Kings College, London.

Remainder of Year 3: In the remaining 2 months of grant year 3 we anticipate completing the following activities:

Data Collection: Data collection and support for C5M2 is underway and will continue through mid-July 2019. We will also continue to actively recruit additional control subjects, and steadily run those through this year and next.

Data Quality Control: We will conduct a detailed data quality-control assessment for all C4 datasets as well as for C5M1. This will include identifying more subtle anomalies (dropout, noise, erroneous values, etc.) in all datasets so that analysis programs can be robust to such data features. C5M2 will undergo the same process at the beginning of the next grant year.

Data Analysis: We will work to complete the interim analysis of our NINscan data during the remainder of this grant year, with analyses designed to address our Specific Aims.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 03/21/2022) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Ivkovic V, Thoolen S, Zhang Q, Strangman GE. "Quantifying and Predicting Operationally-Relevant Performance in a Long-Duration Spaceflight Analog." The Moon, Mars, and Beyond! 2019 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 22-25, 2019.

Abstracts. 2019 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 22-25, 2019. , Jan-2019

Dissertations and Theses Thoolen SJJ. "Operational performance for spaceflight: Robotic On-Board Trainer skill acquisition and associated (neuro)physiological response." MSc dissertation, King’s College London, September 2018. , Sep-2018
Project Title:  Quantifying and Predicting Operationally-Relevant Performance in a Long-Duration Spaceflight Analog Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2018 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Start Date: 08/01/2016  
End Date: 01/31/2020  
Task Last Updated: 06/01/2018 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Strangman, Gary E Ph.D. / Massachusetts General Hospital 
Address:  Department of Psychiatry 
149 13th Street, Suite 2651 
Charlestown , MA 02129-2020 
Email: strang@nmr.mgh.harvard.edu 
Phone: 617-724-0662  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: NON-PROFIT 
Organization Name: Massachusetts General Hospital 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Zhang, Quan  Ph.D. Massachusetts General Hospital 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NNX16AO30G 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Williams, Thomas  
Center Contact: 281-483-8773 
thomas.j.will1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2015-16 HERO NNJ15ZSA001N-ILSRA. Appendix F: International Life Sciences Research Announcement 
Grant/Contract No.: NNX16AO30G 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
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) Sleep:Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) 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)
(2) Sleep-101:Given each crew member will experience multiple spaceflight hazards simultaneously, we need to identify and characterize the potential additive, antagonistic, or synergistic impacts of multiple stressors (e.g., Space Radiation, Altered Gravity, Isolation, altered immune, altered sleep) on crew sleep-wake cycles and/or circadian shifting, health and/or CNS/cognitive functioning to identify any identified adverse individual or team crew health, and/or operationally-relevant performance outcomes (IRP Rev L)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: Extended to 1/31/2020 per K. Ohnesorge/HRP JSC (Ed., 5/24/18)

NOTE: Element change to Human Factors & Behavioral Performance; previously Behavioral Health & Performance (Ed., 1/18/17)

Task Description: Exploration spaceflight missions will expose crewmembers to many risks that could affect their performance and mission success. Minimizing such risks will require identifying and validating objective indicators of behavioral health and performance (BMed2 Gap), understanding the contribution of sleep loss on individual behavioral health (Sleep2 Gap), and identifying countermeasures that can reduce these risks (BMed1, BMed6, and Sleep9 Gaps).

Currently the Robotic On-Board Trainer (ROBoT) is used operationally by astronauts both on the ground and on the International Space Station (ISS) to practice Canada Arm activities. Our group is helping adapt ROBoT for research use and for quantitative performance assessment. In addition, our group is developing and testing NINscan-SE: a multi-use system for measuring brain and physiological function. Both ROBoT and NINscan-SE are being characterized and validated in our laboratory, and will undergo analog feasibility testing during the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) C4 and C5 campaigns. In this project, we will deploy both systems to:

Aim 1: Characterize operational task performance changes during 45-day HERA missions, including the roles of time-in-mission, workload, sleep debt, and operational emergencies.

Aim 2: Characterize brain and systemic physiology changes during 45-day HERA missions, including the roles of time-in-mission, workload, sleep debt, and operational emergencies.

Aim 3: Identify physiological or behavioral variables that predict operational performance.

Aim 4: Quantify the influence of behavioral health countermeasures on both operational performance and (neuro)physiological measures.

To achieve these aims, we will recruit up to 32 crewmembers from eight 45-day missions in the HERA facility during Campaigns 4 and 5, plus up to 32 control subjects. HERA and control participants will all perform ROBoT tasks plus undergo physiological monitoring 2x/week, on matching schedules, thus enabling us to differentiate changes in operational performance due to practice over time from any changes due to HERA sequestration. In addition, two “unexpected operational emergency” events will be introduced in the first and last weeks of each HERA mission. These will consist of an acute need to capture a wayward satellite traveling near the limits of Canada Arm capabilities.

We will also work with the Behavioral Health and Performance (BHP) Element and other HERA investigators to coordinate ROBoT and physiological data collection before, during, and after one or more countermeasure (CM) deployments during the HERA missions. CM(s) may include a lighting intervention, a Virtual Space Station-based behavioral intervention, diet, exercise or some other intervention. The experimental design will depend on the nature of the CM. We will test hypotheses that the CM(s) generate detectable changes in ROBoT performance and rest/task (neuro)physiology recordings. We will also compare ROBoT performance to the standardized Behavioral Core Measures (BCM), if possible.

The knowledge-deliverables of this project will describe: (i) changes in operationally-relevant (ROBoT) performance during the HERA mission in a well-controlled analog study of substantial size; (ii) changes in cerebral and systemic physiology associated with HERA mission parameters as well as operational performance; (iii) identification of potential predictors of future ROBoT performance; and (iv) the influence of the investigated countermeasure(s) on operational performance and physiology.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The ROBoT system—and the HERA isolation protocol—are quite specific to NASA spaceflight operations and hence have relatively few direct Earth applications. However, the ROBoT spacecraft-capture simulations represent a highly skilled, complex operational performance task. It could thus be used as a comparison task in concert with detailed cognitive testing to help dissect the cognitive components complex tasks as well as the influence of other physiological stressors (e.g., sleep deprivation, alcohol consumption, medical radiation) on the performance of such tasks. Use of different complex tasks with the same approach could be useful in assessing and predicting performance in a wide range of other operational environments (diving, pilots, military, surgeons, etc.).

Regarding NINscan-SE, no current NIRS, EEG, or polysomnography device has both the portability and the multi-use features of the system we will be deploying. This system could thus have substantial novel Earth applications. Hospital monitoring applications could include long-duration, non-invasive brain monitoring in the NeuroICU following stroke or traumatic injury, for which no similar technology exists. Real-time, in-office brain activation assessment could also be supported, for assessment of psychiatric states, for monitoring the neural effects of cardiovascular or psychoactive drugs or other therapies, or for brain monitoring during rehabilitation. Mobile monitoring could perhaps have an even larger impact outside the hospital setting. A wearable monitor would enable ambulatory syncope monitoring, or multi-parameter ambulatory epilepsy monitoring. If deployed in emergency settings, NINscan-SE could potentially be used to detect cerebral or abdominal hemorrhage, ischemia, and/or cortical spreading depression by first responders. Home monitoring uses include various sleep disorders, as well as various commercial possibilities.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2018 
Task Progress: The goal of this project is to assess operationally-relevant behavioral performance over 45-day isolation and confinement periods in the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA), as well as associated neurophysiological status during this period. Operational performance is being evaluated using the ROBoT-r task—an operationally used track-and-capture task for grappling incoming resupply vehicles using Canadarm2. This task was modified for research use in the separate Behavioral Core Measures project. Neurophysiological assessments include resting-state connectivity and functional brain activation during the ROBoT-r task trials using our near-infrared spectroscopy and imaging (NIRS/NIRI) based NINscan devices.

In Year 2 of this project, the following tasks have been completed.

ROBoT-r v6.3 Software: While ROBoT-r v6.2 remains deployed in HERA for Campaign 4, additional modifications have been underway for the software. This included an important upgrade that prevents any accidental bumping of the hand controllers between trials from causing a trial abort, as well as a few minor modifications to the feedback displays provided after each trial. These display modifications were made based on discussions with ROBoT-r trainers to ensure consistency of feedback between research and operations use of the ROBoT-r task.

HERA Data Collection: At the time of the first annual report, HERA Campaign 4 Mission 1 was complete and preparations for C4M2 were underway. C4M2 was completed through mission day (MD) 22, at which point Hurricane Harvey required evacuation of the facility, thus aborting the mission. C4M3 was completed without incident, as was C4M4. Currently, C4M5 is underway. In each case, Dr. Ivkovic traveled to Houston to confirm appropriate setup of the system and conducted all crew familiarization (with both ROBoT-r and NINscan-SE), training, and all baseline data collection. ROBoT-r and NINscan-SE data was also validated (to confirm the appropriate data was being collected) prior to hatch-closing for each mission. Data was collected nominally during each mission. We obtained 97.7% of ROBoT-r data expected from Missions 1-4, and 96.8% of the NINscan physiological data.

HERA Data Analysis: Analyses to date have been limited to quality control and very preliminary assessments. ROBoT-r data is demonstrating learning curves consistent with expectations based on HERA C3 testing. NINscan data is also showing basic phenomena consistent with expectations including inter-hemispheric functional connectivity at rest, brain activation associated with engagement in the ROBoT-r task, and suppression of low-frequency EEG waveforms associated with task engagement. Analysis procedures are being finalized to address our specific aims and an interim analysis will be conducted when all data from Campaign 4 is available.

Controls: We completed running controls for our HERA C3 mission and then swapped hardware and upgraded software at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) to match the hardware/software versions in HERA C4. We are now recruiting controls for HERA C4, seeking to match HERA subjects as closely as possible. These subjects will continue to be run through much of year 3 of the project.

Dissemination: The results to date of ROBoT-r data collection were presented at the Human Research Program (HRP) Investigator Workshop (IWS) conference in Galveston, TX in late January 2018.

In the remaining 2 months of grant year 2 we anticipate completing the following activities.

HERA C4M5 Completion: Mission 5 is the replacement for the aborted Mission 2. This mission is scheduled hatch opening on 6/15/2018, followed by a 1-week period of post-mission data collection. At that point we will have completed all of Campaign 4 subjects and will be able to pool data across C4 subjects to characterize their performance over the course of the 45-day missions. Research on this project will continue in Campaign 5, following a planned 6-month delay in startup, and our main research questions will be addressed once we complete data collection for all C4 control subjects.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 03/21/2022) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2018
Project Title:  Quantifying and Predicting Operationally-Relevant Performance in a Long-Duration Spaceflight Analog Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2017 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Start Date: 08/01/2016  
End Date: 07/31/2019  
Task Last Updated: 05/30/2017 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Strangman, Gary E Ph.D. / Massachusetts General Hospital 
Address:  Department of Psychiatry 
149 13th Street, Suite 2651 
Charlestown , MA 02129-2020 
Email: strang@nmr.mgh.harvard.edu 
Phone: 617-724-0662  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: NON-PROFIT 
Organization Name: Massachusetts General Hospital 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Zhang, Quan  Ph.D. Massachusetts General Hospital 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NNX16AO30G 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Williams, Thomas  
Center Contact: 281-483-8773 
thomas.j.will1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2015-16 HERO NNJ15ZSA001N-ILSRA. Appendix F: International Life Sciences Research Announcement 
Grant/Contract No.: NNX16AO30G 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
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) Sleep:Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) 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)
(2) Sleep-101:Given each crew member will experience multiple spaceflight hazards simultaneously, we need to identify and characterize the potential additive, antagonistic, or synergistic impacts of multiple stressors (e.g., Space Radiation, Altered Gravity, Isolation, altered immune, altered sleep) on crew sleep-wake cycles and/or circadian shifting, health and/or CNS/cognitive functioning to identify any identified adverse individual or team crew health, and/or operationally-relevant performance outcomes (IRP Rev L)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: Element change to Human Factors & Behavioral Performance; previously Behavioral Health & Performance (Ed., 1/18/17)

Task Description: Exploration spaceflight missions will expose crewmembers to many risks that could affect their performance and mission success. Minimizing such risks will require identifying and validating objective indicators of behavioral health and performance (BMed2 Gap), understanding the contribution of sleep loss on individual behavioral health (Sleep2 Gap), and identifying countermeasures that can reduce these risks (BMed1, BMed6, and Sleep9 Gaps).

Currently the Robotic On-Board Trainer (ROBoT) is used operationally by astronauts both on the ground and on the International Space Station (ISS) to practice Canada Arm activities. Our group is helping adapt ROBoT for research use and for quantitative performance assessment. In addition, our group is developing and testing NINscan-SE: a multi-use system for measuring brain and physiological function. Both ROBoT and NINscan-SE are being characterized and validated in our laboratory over the next several months, and will undergo analog feasibility testing during the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) 2016 campaign. We propose to deploy both in this project to:

Aim 1: Characterize operational task performance changes during 45-day HERA missions, including the roles of time-in-mission, workload, sleep debt, and operational emergencies.

Aim 2: Characterize brain and systemic physiology changes during 45-day HERA missions, including the roles of time-in-mission, workload, sleep debt, and operational emergencies.

Aim 3: Identify physiological or behavioral variables that predict operational performance.

Aim 4: Quantify the influence of behavioral health countermeasures on both operational performance and (neuro)physiological measures.

To achieve these aims, we will recruit up to 32 crewmembers from eight 45-day missions in the HERA facility during Campaigns 4 and 5, plus 32 control subjects. HERA and control participants will all perform ROBoT tasks plus undergo physiological monitoring 2x/week, on matching schedules, thus enabling us to differentiate changes in operational performance due to practice over time from any changes due to HERA sequestration. In addition, two “unexpected operational emergency” events will be introduced in the first and last weeks of each HERA mission. These will consist of an acute need to capture a wayward satellite traveling near the limits of Canada Arm capabilities.

We will also work with the Behavioral Health and Performance (BHP) Element and other HERA investigators to coordinate ROBoT and physiological data collection before, during, and after one or more countermeasure (CM) deployments during the HERA missions. CM(s) may include a lighting intervention, a Virtual Space Station-based behavioral intervention, diet, exercise or some other intervention. The experimental design will depend on the nature of the CM. We will test hypotheses that the CM(s) generate detectable changes in ROBoT performance and rest/task (neuro)physiology recordings. We will also compare ROBoT performance to the standardized Behavioral Core Measures (BCM), if available.

The knowledge-deliverables of this project will describe: (i) changes in operationally-relevant (ROBoT) performance during the HERA mission in a well-controlled analog study of substantial size; (ii) changes in cerebral and systemic physiology associated with HERA mission parameters as well as operational performance; (iii) identification of potential predictors of future ROBoT performance; and (iv) the influence of the investigated countermeasure(s) on operational performance and physiology.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The ROBoT system—and the HERA isolation protocol—are quite specific to NASA spaceflight operations and hence have relatively few direct Earth applications. However, the ROBoT spacecraft-capture simulations represent a highly skilled, complex operational performance task. It could thus be used as a comparison task in concert with detailed cognitive testing to help dissect the cognitive components complex tasks as well as the influence of other physiological stressors (e.g., sleep deprivation, alcohol consumption, medical radiation) on the performance of such tasks. Use of different complex tasks in with the same approach could be useful in assessing and predicting performance in a wide range of other operational environments (diving, pilots, military, surgeons, etc.).

Regarding NINscan-SE, no current NIRS, EEG, or polysomnography device has both the portability and the multi-use features of the system we will be deploying. This system could thus have substantial novel Earth applications. Hospital monitoring applications could include long-duration, non-invasive brain monitoring in the NeuroICU following stroke or traumatic injury, for which no similar technology exists. Real-time, in-office brain activation assessment could also be enabled, for assessment of psychiatric states, for monitoring the neural effects of cardiovascular or psychoactive drugs or other therapies, or for brain monitoring during rehabilitation. Mobile monitoring could perhaps have an even larger impact outside the hospital setting. A wearable monitor would enable ambulatory syncope monitoring, or multi-parameter ambulatory epilepsy monitoring. If deployed in emergency settings, NINscan-SE could potentially be used to detect cerebral or abdominal hemorrhage, ischemia, and/or cortical spreading depression by first responders. Home monitoring uses include various sleep disorders, as well as any of the various commercial possibilities indicated below.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2017 
Task Progress: Since project initiation on 8/1/2016, the following tasks have been completed.

ROBoT v6.2 Software: A new version of ROBoT was generated and deployed to HERA for Campaign 4. This version of ROBoT added (1) support for the newly-fabricated hand-controllers, (2) a new setup tab and associated action buttons so that the operations and research versions of ROBoT can coexist within the same code-base, (3) a post-session comments box, (4) revised feedback for crewmembers that is in better alignment with NASA operations (10=best score, 0=worst), (5) a custom set of emergency trials specific to our C4 protocol, plus (6) various bits of code cleanup and bug fixes. The tab and action buttons were key to enable seamless transition between the “ops” version of ROBoT (which does not save data and displays different feedback) and ROBoT (which does save data). Support for the new controllers is supplemental, meaning the ROBoT system can now be configured to use either legacy or new-style hand controllers as needed. The post-session comments box allows subjects to type in immediately following a set of 12 runs any issues that were encountered (problems with system setup, interruptions during performance, unexpected software glitches encountered, and so on).

NINscan-SE Hardware: Our NINscan-SE prototype was also reconfigured for use in HERA C4. This involved two hardware changes. The first involved developing a new auxiliary sensor component module. The previous NINscan-SE auxiliary sensors were designed specifically for polysomnography, whereas the new module incorporates sensor leads for 3-channel EEG and 2-channel EOG (to minimize wiring that users need to manage). As with the prior module, it simply needs to plug into the base recorder box for use. In addition, we modified the internal electronics of the recorder box to incorporate a second reference channel. This was done so that our F3/F4 EEG channels could be referenced to the contralateral mastoid for more robust and noise-resistant measurements.

Training Materials: New training materials were also developed for HERA C4. While the ROBoT familiarization video from HERA C3 could still be used, we needed to revise the user instructions to reflect a change in login and setup procedure screens, interpreting the new evaluation screens, what to enter in the post-session survey/comments box, and description of the pre-task resting baseline recording period for assessing the default mode network activity. The NINscan-SE instructions needed to be revised to reflect the new sensor module and electrode positioning scheme relative to its deployment in HERA C3.

HERA C4M1 Data Collection: The new version of the ROBoT software was delivered to HERA in February 2017. Dr. Ivkovic traveled to Houston to confirm appropriate setup of the system and conducted all Mission 1 crew familiarization (with both ROBoT and NINscan-SE), training, and all baseline data collection. ROBoT and NINscan-SE data was also validated (to confirm the appropriate data was being collected) prior to hatch-closing, which occurred on 5/6/2017.

In the remaining 2 months of the grant year we anticipate completing the following activities:

HERA C4M1 Completion: Mission 1 is ongoing and scheduled for hatch opening on 6/19/2017, followed by a 1-week period of post-mission data collection. Thus, we expect to complete Mission 1 (n=4) before the end of June. Upon completion of this phase, we will collect all ROBoT data and NINscan-SE data and begin the quality control and the initial data analysis phase.

HERA C4 M2: The HERA Mission 2 crew (n=4) is scheduled to begin training on 7/20/2017 with hatch closing on 8/5/2017. Dr. Ivkovic will again travel to Houston for the training-to-hatch-closing phase of M2, completing the same tasks as for Mission 1. The remainder of M2 will be completed during year 2 of this project.

Controls: We are currently running controls for our HERA C3 mission. Immediately following those controls we will begin running controls for HERA C4. These subjects will be performing ROBoT sessions on the same schedule as the individuals in HERA C4, including the same NINscan-SE recording protocols. These subjects will continue to be run through most of year 2 of the project.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 03/21/2022) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2017
Project Title:  Quantifying and Predicting Operationally-Relevant Performance in a Long-Duration Spaceflight Analog Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2016 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Start Date: 08/01/2016  
End Date: 07/31/2019  
Task Last Updated: 10/19/2016 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Strangman, Gary E Ph.D. / Massachusetts General Hospital 
Address:  Department of Psychiatry 
149 13th Street, Suite 2651 
Charlestown , MA 02129-2020 
Email: strang@nmr.mgh.harvard.edu 
Phone: 617-724-0662  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: NON-PROFIT 
Organization Name: Massachusetts General Hospital 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Zhang, Quan  Ph.D. Massachusetts General Hospital 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NNX16AO30G 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Williams, Thomas  
Center Contact: 281-483-8773 
thomas.j.will1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2015-16 HERO NNJ15ZSA001N-ILSRA. Appendix F: International Life Sciences Research Announcement 
Grant/Contract No.: NNX16AO30G 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:  
No. of PhD Candidates:  
No. of Master's Candidates:  
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:  
No. of PhD Degrees:  
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) Sleep:Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) 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)
(2) Sleep-101:Given each crew member will experience multiple spaceflight hazards simultaneously, we need to identify and characterize the potential additive, antagonistic, or synergistic impacts of multiple stressors (e.g., Space Radiation, Altered Gravity, Isolation, altered immune, altered sleep) on crew sleep-wake cycles and/or circadian shifting, health and/or CNS/cognitive functioning to identify any identified adverse individual or team crew health, and/or operationally-relevant performance outcomes (IRP Rev L)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: Element change to Human Factors & Behavioral Performance; previously Behavioral Health & Performance (Ed., 1/18/17)

Task Description: Exploration spaceflight missions will expose crewmembers to many risks that could affect their performance and mission success. Minimizing such risks will require identifying and validating objective indicators of behavioral health and performance (BMed2 Gap), understanding the contribution of sleep loss on individual behavioral health (Sleep2 Gap), and identifying countermeasures that can reduce these risks (BMed1, BMed6, and Sleep9 Gaps).

Currently the Robotic On-Board Trainer (ROBoT) is used operationally by astronauts both on the ground and on the International Space Station (ISS) to practice Canada Arm activities. Our group is helping adapt ROBoT for research use and for quantitative performance assessment. In addition, our group is developing and testing NINscan-SE: a multi-use system for measuring brain and physiological function. Both ROBoT and NINscan-SE are being characterized and validated in our laboratory over the next several months, and will undergo analog feasibility testing during the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) 2016 campaign. We propose to deploy both in this project to:

Aim 1: Characterize operational task performance changes during 45-day HERA missions, including the roles of time-in-mission, workload, sleep debt, and operational emergencies.

Aim 2: Characterize brain and systemic physiology changes during 45-day HERA missions, including the roles of time-in-mission, workload, sleep debt, and operational emergencies.

Aim 3: Identify physiological or behavioral variables that predict operational performance.

Aim 4: Quantify the influence of behavioral health countermeasures on both operational performance and (neuro)physiological measures.

To achieve these aims, we will recruit up to 32 crewmembers from eight 45-day missions in the HERA facility during Campaigns 4 and 5, plus 32 control subjects. HERA and control participants will all perform ROBoT tasks plus undergo physiological monitoring 2x/week, on matching schedules, thus enabling us to differentiate changes in operational performance due to practice over time from any changes due to HERA sequestration. In addition, two “unexpected operational emergency” events will be introduced in the first and last weeks of each HERA mission. These will consist of an acute need to capture a wayward satellite traveling near the limits of Canada Arm capabilities.

We will also work with the Behavioral Health and Performance (BHP) Element and other HERA investigators to coordinate ROBoT and physiological data collection before, during, and after one or more countermeasure (CM) deployments during the HERA missions. CM(s) may include a lighting intervention, a Virtual Space Station-based behavioral intervention, diet, exercise or some other intervention. The experimental design will depend on the nature of the CM. We will test hypotheses that the CM(s) generate detectable changes in ROBoT performance and rest/task (neuro)physiology recordings. We will also compare ROBoT performance to the standardized Behavioral Core Measures (BCM), if available.

The knowledge-deliverables of this project will describe: (i) changes in operationally-relevant (ROBoT) performance during the HERA mission in a well-controlled analog study of substantial size; (ii) changes in cerebral and systemic physiology associated with HERA mission parameters as well as operational performance, (iii) identification of potential predictors of future ROBoT performance, and (iv) the influence of the investigated countermeasure(s) on operational performance and physiology.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits:

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2016 
Task Progress: New project for FY2016.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 03/21/2022) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2016