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Project Title:  NSCOR for Evaluating Risk Factors and Biomarkers for Adaptation and Resilience to Spaceflight: Emotional Valence and Social Processes in ICC/ICE Environments Reduce
Images: icon  Fiscal Year: FY 2021 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Start Date: 09/05/2017  
End Date: 07/31/2023  
Task Last Updated: 07/08/2021 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Dinges, David F. Ph.D. / University of Pennsylvania 
Address:  Department of Psychiatry 
423 Service Dr., 1013 Blockley Hall 
Philadelphia , PA 19104-4209 
Email: dinges@pennmedicine.upenn.edu 
Phone: 215-898-9949  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: University of Pennsylvania 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Basner, Mathias  M.D., Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Bilker, Warren  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Chouker, Alexander  M.D. University of Munich 
Elliott, Mark  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Feiveson, Alan  Ph.D. NASA Johnson Space Center 
Flanagan, Shawn  Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh 
Gehrman, Philp  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Gunga, Hanns-Christian  M.D. Charite - Universitatsmedizin Berlin 
Gur, Ruben  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Kuehn, Simone  Ph.D. University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf 
Landon, Lauren  Ph.D. KBR/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Nindl, Bradley  Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh 
Roalf, David  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Stahn, Alexander  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Hensch, Takao  Ph.D. Boston Children's Hospital 
Whitmire, Alexandra  Ph.D. KBR/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Martin, Brian  Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh 
Bell, Suzanne T Ph.D. Behavioral Health &Performance Lab at KBR/NASA JSC 
Dev, Sheena  Ph.D. Behavioral Health & Performance Lab at KBR/NASA JSC 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: July 2021 report: 1) Replaced Dr. Pete Roma with Dr. Suzanne Bell as Co-Investigator/Institutional PI at Johnson Space Center (JSC). 2) Added Dr. Sheena Dev as Co-Investigator. July 2020 report: Previous CoI Jason Schneiderman is no longer working on the project. 1) Replaced Dr. Tom Williams with Dr. Pete Roma as Co-Investigator/Institutional PI at Johnson Space Center (JSC). 2) Replaced Dr. Tom Williams with Dr. Bradley C. Nindl as NSCOR Co-Director. 3) Replaced Dr. Brandon Vessey as Co-Investigator with Dr. Lauren Landon as Co-Investigator at JSC. 4) Added Dr. Alexandra Whitmire as Co-Investigator. 5) Added Diana Arias to role of Support for initiating Wyle subcontracts at JSC. 6) Replaced Dr. Sarah McGuire with Dr. Mathias Basner as NSCOR ICARUS Site Environmental Lead in Dr. Dinges’ Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. 7) Added Dr. Brian Martin to role of Co-Investigator in Dr. Nindl’s laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. 8) Added Meaghan E. Beckner to role of PhD Research Fellow in Dr. Nindl’s laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. 9) Added Nathaniel Hodgson, PhD to role of Post-Doc in Dr. Hensch’s laboratory Harvard Boston Children’s Hospital. 10) Added Gervasio Batista, PhD to role of Post-Doc in Dr. Hensch’s laboratory at Harvard Boston Children’s Hospital.
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. 80NSSC17K0644 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Whitmire, Alexandra  
Center Contact:  
alexandra.m.whitmire@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2016-2017 HERO NNJ16ZSA001N-Crew Health (FLAGSHIP, OMNIBUS). Appendix A-Omnibus, Appendix B-Flagship 
Grant/Contract No.: 80NSSC17K0644 
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: 16 
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) Team:Risk of Performance and Behavioral Health Decrements Due to Inadequate Cooperation, Coordination, Communication, and Psychosocial Adaptation within a Team (IRP Rev F)
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-108:Given each crewmember 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 health and/or CNS/ cognitive functioning to develop threshold limits and validate countermeasures for any identified adverse crew health and/or operationally-relevant performance outcomes (IRP Rev L)
(4) Team-101:We need to understand the key threats, indicators, and evolution of the team throughout its life cycle for shifting autonomy and interface with automation in increasingly earth independent, long duration exploration missions (IRP Rev L)
(5) Team-103:We need to identify psychological and psychosocial factors, measures, and combinations thereof for use in selecting individuals and composing highly effective crews most likely to maintain team function during shifting autonomy in increasingly earth independent, long duration exploration missions (IRP Rev L)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date changed to 7/31/2023 per L. Barnes-Moten/JSC (Ed., 4/7/21)

Task Description: NASA’s vision for successful long-duration exploration missions (LDEM) depends on optimizing human performance, adaptability, and resiliency to reduce individual and crew behavioral risks. To date, the major emphasis in optimizing astronauts for their tolerance to prolonged spaceflight has involved human health and performance countermeasures as well as technologies and tools to ensure safety during exploration. However, considerable evidence suggests that there are individual differences among astronauts in their vulnerabilities to the various stressors of spaceflight. The goal of the proposed NSCOR (NASA Specialized Center of Research) is to obtain novel information that will help identify individuals who are resilient to the stressors of prolonged human spaceflight, thereby ensuring successful completion of exploration missions and the preservation of astronaut health over the life of the astronaut. This NSCOR project leverages the NIMH (National Instsitute of Mental Health) Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) heuristic framework to conduct experimental studies to identify biological domains (molecular, circuitry, physiology) and behavioral domains that relate to individual adaptation and resiliency (as well as behavioral vulnerability) in spaceflight-relevant isolated confined and extreme environments (ICC and ICE). The NSCOR focuses specifically on differences among astronauts in their tolerance of and adaptability to simulated conditions of prolonged spaceflight that impact behavioral health and performance. The NSCOR will provide novel information on the extent to which behavioral and biological factors can be identified that predict astronauts who can maintain positive mood, proactive social processes, a high level of performance and personal well-being, while coping with confinement, meaningless work, limited social support, and living in the extreme environmental conditions of space. By utilizing the RDoC framework, three different human confinement analogs and an animal model, the NSCOR will generate data converging on biomarkers of neurobehavioral and neurobiological resilience to the spaceflight conditions. Such a discovery will help in selecting astronauts most likely to maintain human health and performance during long-duration exploration missions.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: This project will benefit the spaceflight community, specifically humans involved in spaceflight, by providing information that will help characterize the three less well-understood NIMH RDoC domains related to positive valence, negative valence, and social processes as they relate to performance, adaptation, and resilience of individuals living and working in ICC/ICE environments. We will identify predictive indicators and biomarkers for resilience and adaptation in individuals to aid in selection and individualized countermeasure development with the goal to maintain and optimize performance capability and behavioral health during Long Duration Exploration Missions.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2021 
Task Progress: Regarding the human analogs, the investigator team has continued to hold regular electronic virtual meetings (N=18 over this reporting period) to discuss and resolve important issues related to data acquisition, updated literature on resilience and potential biomarkers, data storage, quality control and analyses, and the resumption of analog research. This enabled the team to update its scheduled study runs and refine its list of biological biomarkers and questionnaires. These meetings facilitated defining resilience with the paired comparison methodology, as well as the development of a pipeline for data management, data harmonization, and data analysis to ensure consistency across NSCOR analog sites for heart rate variability analyses.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a mandated cessation of scheduled NSCOR data acquisition at the Isolation and Confinement Analog Research Unit for Spaceflight (ICARUS) facility at the University of Pennsylvania. Data acquisition is scheduled to recommence this year, if the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine approves the updated research resumption plan. The team at Penn has continued to work with the statistician, Dr. Warren Bilker, to create a resilience score for the NSCOR across analog sites. Data acquisition for Campaign 6 in Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) is postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Campaign 6 is currently scheduled to begin this year. Data acquisition for the second 14 month mission in Neumayer is complete.

During the past year in the mouse model, Dr. Hensch and colleagues identified sex-specific consequences of early life adversity in an adult mouse model. These results may impact the selection of candidates or optimal environments for long-term spaceflight confinement stress in humans based on their adverse childhood experience (ACE) scores. To capture the true complexity of social behaviors that occur in groups, they established a Social Network Analysis (SNA) approach to define objective parameters associated with sociability and its plasticity by sex. This analytical approach can identify, for example, network participants who are more effective teammates or more likely to generate new social relationships. Anticipated baseline behavior was further compared to novel and established molecular biomarkers to be assessed in peripheral samples (e.g., urine, blood), including autoantibodies and oxidative stress markers. Importantly, the ability to overcome impairments of sociability with acute antioxidant (or other) treatments can now be tested in animal models.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 05/20/2022) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2021
Project Title:  NSCOR for Evaluating Risk Factors and Biomarkers for Adaptation and Resilience to Spaceflight: Emotional Valence and Social Processes in ICC/ICE Environments Reduce
Images: icon  Fiscal Year: FY 2020 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Start Date: 09/05/2017  
End Date: 07/31/2023  
Task Last Updated: 10/09/2020 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Dinges, David F. Ph.D. / University of Pennsylvania 
Address:  Department of Psychiatry 
423 Service Dr., 1013 Blockley Hall 
Philadelphia , PA 19104-4209 
Email: dinges@pennmedicine.upenn.edu 
Phone: 215-898-9949  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: University of Pennsylvania 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Basner, Mathias  M.D., Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Bilker, Warren  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Chouker, Alexander  M.D. University of Munich 
Elliott, Mark  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Feiveson, Alan  Ph.D. NASA Johnson Space Center 
Flanagan, Shawn  Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh 
Gehrman, Philp  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Gunga, Hanns-Christian  M.D. Charite - Universitatsmedizin Berlin 
Gur, Ruben  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Kuehn, Simone  Ph.D. University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf 
Landon, Lauren  Ph.D. KBR/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Nindl, Bradley  Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh 
Roalf, David  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Stahn, Alexander  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Hensch, Takao  Ph.D. Boston Children's Hospital 
Roma, Peter  Ph.D. KBR/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Whitmire, Alexandra  Ph.D. KBR/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Martin, Brian  Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: July 2020 report: Previous CoI Jason Schneiderman is no longer working on the project. July 2018 report: 1) Replaced Dr. Tom Williams with Dr. Pete Roma as Co-Investigator/Institutional PI at Johnson Space Center (JSC). 2) Replaced Dr. Tom Williams with Dr. Bradley C. Nindl as NSCOR Co-Director. 3) Replaced Dr. Brandon Vessey as Co-Investigator with Dr. Lauren Landon as Co-Investigator at JSC. 4) Added Dr. Alexandra Whitmire as Co-Investigator. 5) Added Diana Arias to role of Support for initiating Wyle subcontracts at JSC. 6) Replaced Dr. Sarah McGuire with Dr. Mathias Basner as NSCOR ICARUS Site Environmental Lead in Dr. Dinges’ Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. 7) Added Dr. Brian Martin to role of Co-Investigator in Dr. Nindl’s laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. 8) Added Meaghan E. Beckner to role of PhD Research Fellow in Dr. Nindl’s laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. 9) Added Nathaniel Hodgson, PhD to role of Post-Doc in Dr. Hensch’s laboratory Harvard Boston Children’s Hospital. 10) Added Gervasio Batista, PhD to role of Post-Doc in Dr. Hensch’s laboratory at Harvard Boston Children’s Hospital.
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. 80NSSC17K0644 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Williams, Thomas  
Center Contact: 281-483-8773 
thomas.j.will1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2016-2017 HERO NNJ16ZSA001N-Crew Health (FLAGSHIP, OMNIBUS). Appendix A-Omnibus, Appendix B-Flagship 
Grant/Contract No.: 80NSSC17K0644 
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: 33 
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) Team:Risk of Performance and Behavioral Health Decrements Due to Inadequate Cooperation, Coordination, Communication, and Psychosocial Adaptation within a Team (IRP Rev F)
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-108:Given each crewmember 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 health and/or CNS/ cognitive functioning to develop threshold limits and validate countermeasures for any identified adverse crew health and/or operationally-relevant performance outcomes (IRP Rev L)
(4) Team-101:We need to understand the key threats, indicators, and evolution of the team throughout its life cycle for shifting autonomy and interface with automation in increasingly earth independent, long duration exploration missions (IRP Rev L)
(5) Team-103:We need to identify psychological and psychosocial factors, measures, and combinations thereof for use in selecting individuals and composing highly effective crews most likely to maintain team function during shifting autonomy in increasingly earth independent, long duration exploration missions (IRP Rev L)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date changed to 7/31/2023 per L. Barnes-Moten/JSC (Ed., 4/7/21)

Task Description: NASA’s vision for successful long-duration exploration missions (LDEM) depends on optimizing human performance, adaptability, and resiliency to reduce individual and crew behavioral risks. To date, the major emphasis in optimizing astronauts for their tolerance to prolonged spaceflight has involved human health and performance countermeasures as well as technologies and tools to ensure safety during exploration. However, considerable evidence suggests that there are individual differences among astronauts in their vulnerabilities to the various stressors of spaceflight. The goal of the proposed NSCOR (NASA Specialized Center of Research) is to obtain novel information that will help identify individuals who are resilient to the stressors of prolonged human spaceflight, thereby ensuring successful completion of exploration missions and the preservation of astronaut health over the life of the astronaut. This NSCOR project leverages the NIMH (National Instsitute of Mental Health) Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) heuristic framework to conduct experimental studies to identify biological domains (molecular, circuitry, physiology) and behavioral domains that relate to individual adaptation and resiliency (as well as behavioral vulnerability) in spaceflight-relevant isolated confined and extreme environments (ICC and ICE). The NSCOR focuses specifically on differences among astronauts in their tolerance of and adaptability to simulated conditions of prolonged spaceflight that impact behavioral health and performance. The NSCOR will provide novel information on the extent to which behavioral and biological factors can be identified that predict astronauts who can maintain positive mood, proactive social processes, a high level of performance and personal well-being, while coping with confinement, meaningless work, limited social support, and living in the extreme environmental conditions of space. By utilizing the RDoC framework, three different human confinement analogs and an animal model, the NSCOR will generate data converging on biomarkers of neurobehavioral and neurobiological resilience to the spaceflight conditions. Such a discovery will help in selecting astronauts most likely to maintain human health and performance during long-duration exploration missions.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: This project will benefit the spaceflight community, specifically humans involved in spaceflight, by providing information that will help characterize the three less well-understood NIMH RDoC domains related to positive valence, negative valence, and social processes as they relate to performance, adaptation, and resilience of individuals living and working in ICC/ICE environments. We will identify predictive indicators and biomarkers for resilience and adaptation in individuals to aid in selection and individualized countermeasure development with the goal to maintain and optimize performance capability and behavioral health during Long Duration Exploration Missions.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2020 
Task Progress: Across the three NSCOR human research sites [the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) at Johnson Space Center (JSC), the Isolation and Confinement Analog Research Unit for Spaceflight (ICARUS), and the Neumayer III station in Antarctica] there has been a high rate of subject compliance to acquisition of behavioral, biological, and cognitive measures including surveys, blood draws, and test batteries. During this reporting period (9/5/2019-9/5/2020), all three human research sites continued data collection through February 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic mandated the postponement of scheduled data acquisition at the ICARUS facility (UPenn), at the HERA facility (JSC), and at the Neumayer III station (Antarctica), until the resumption of human research. The investigator team has continued to hold regular electronic virtual meetings (N=14 over this reporting period) to discuss and resolve important issues related to data acquisition, updated literature on resilience and potential biomarkers, data storage and analyses, and the resumption of analog research. This enabled the team to update its scheduled study runs and refine its list of biological biomarkers and questionnaires.

During the past year in the animal model at Harvard, Hensch and colleagues identified sex-specific consequences of early life adversity on adult behavior. To capture the true complexity of social behaviors that occur in groups, they established a Social Network Analysis (SNA) approach to define objective parameters associated with sociability and its plasticity by sex. This analytical approach can identify, for example, network participants who are more effective teammates or more likely to generate new social relationships. Anticipated baseline behavior was further compared to novel and established molecular biomarkers to be assessed in peripheral samples (e.g., urine, blood), including autoantibodies and oxidative stress markers. Importantly, the ability to overcome impairments of sociability with acute antioxidant (or other) treatments can now be tested in animal models.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 05/20/2022) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Dinges D, Basner M, Stahn A, Roma P, Hensch T, Nindl B, Flanagan S, Martin B, Gur R, Cordoza M, Kaizi-Lutu M, Bilker W. "NSCOR for evaluating risk factors and biomarkers for adaptation and resilience to spaceflight: Emotional valence and social processes in ICC/ICE environments." Presented at the 2020 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 27-30, 2020.

Abstracts. 2020 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 27-30, 2020. , Jan-2020

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Landon LB, Douglas GL, Downs ME, Greene MR, Whitmire AM, Zwart SR, Roma PG. "The behavioral biology of teams: Multidisciplinary contributions to social dynamics in isolated, confined, and extreme environments." Frontiers in Psychology. 2019 Nov 21;10:2571. Review. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02571 ; PubMed PMID: 31824374; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6883946 , Nov-2019
Books/Book Chapters Roma PG, Beckner ME, Mehta SK, Nindl BC, Crucian BE. "Salivary bioscience in military, space, and operational research." in "Salivary Bioscience: Foundations of Interdisciplinary Saliva Research and Applications." Ed. D.A. Granger, M.K. Taylor. Cham: Springer, 2020. p. 585-610. First Online: 08 April 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-35784-9_24 , Apr-2020
Books/Book Chapters Bell ST, Roma PG, Caldwell BJ. "Special considerations for conducting research in analog environments: Challenges, solutions, and what is needed." in "Psychology and Human Performance in Space Programs,Vol. 1: Research at the Frontier." Ed. L.B. Landon, K.J. Slack, E. Salas. Boca Raton, FL : CRC Press, 2020. Ebook published Oct 9, 2020. Book doi: https://doi.org/10.1201/9780429440878 , Oct-2020
Books/Book Chapters Schorn JM, Roma PG. "Physical risks to behavioral health and performance in isolated, confined, and extreme environments." in "Psychology and Human Performance in Space Programs, Vol. 1: Research at the Frontier." Ed. L.B. Landon, K.J. Slack, E. Salas. Boca Raton, FL : CRC Press, 2020. Ebook published Oct 9, 2020. Book doi: https://doi.org/10.1201/9780429440878 , Oct-2020
Project Title:  NSCOR for Evaluating Risk Factors and Biomarkers for Adaptation and Resilience to Spaceflight: Emotional Valence and Social Processes in ICC/ICE Environments Reduce
Images: icon  Fiscal Year: FY 2019 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Start Date: 09/05/2017  
End Date: 09/04/2021  
Task Last Updated: 07/01/2019 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Dinges, David F. Ph.D. / University of Pennsylvania 
Address:  Department of Psychiatry 
423 Service Dr., 1013 Blockley Hall 
Philadelphia , PA 19104-4209 
Email: dinges@pennmedicine.upenn.edu 
Phone: 215-898-9949  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: University of Pennsylvania 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Basner, Mathias  M.D., Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Bilker, Warren  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Chouker, Alexander  M.D. University of Munich 
Elliott, Mark  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Feiveson, Alan  Ph.D. NASA Johnson Space Center 
Flanagan, Shawn  Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh 
Gehrman, Philp  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Gunga, Hanns-Christian  M.D. Charite - Universitatsmedizin Berlin 
Gur, Ruben  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Kuehn, Simone  Ph.D. University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf 
Landon, Lauren  Ph.D. Wyle/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Nindl, Bradley  Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh 
Roalf, David  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Schneiderman, Jason  Ph.D. Wyle/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Stahn, Alexander  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Hensch, Takao  Ph.D. Boston Children's Hospital 
Roma, Peter  Ph.D. KBRWyle/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Whitmire, Alexandra  Ph.D. KBRwyle/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Martin, Brian  Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: July 2018 report: 1) Replaced Dr. Tom Williams with Dr. Pete Roma as Co-Investigator/Institutional PI at Johnson Space Center (JSC). 2) Replaced Dr. Tom Williams with Dr. Bradley C. Nindl as NSCOR Co-Director. 3) Replaced Dr. Brandon Vessey as Co-Investigator with Dr. Lauren Landon as Co-Investigator at JSC. 4) Added Dr. Alexandra Whitmire as Co-Investigator. 5) Added Diana Arias to role of Support for initiating Wyle subcontracts at JSC. 6) Replaced Dr. Sarah McGuire with Dr. Mathias Basner as NSCOR ICARUS Site Environmental Lead in Dr. Dinges’ Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. 7) Added Dr. Brian Martin to role of Co-Investigator in Dr. Nindl’s laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. 8) Added Meaghan E. Beckner to role of PhD Research Fellow in Dr. Nindl’s laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. 9) Added Nathaniel Hodgson, PhD to role of Post-Doc in Dr. Hensch’s laboratory Harvard Boston Children’s Hospital. 10) Added Gervasio Batista, PhD to role of Post-Doc in Dr. Hensch’s laboratory at Harvard Boston Children’s Hospital.
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. 80NSSC17K0644 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Williams, Thomas  
Center Contact: 281-483-8773 
thomas.j.will1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2016-2017 HERO NNJ16ZSA001N-Crew Health (FLAGSHIP, OMNIBUS). Appendix A-Omnibus, Appendix B-Flagship 
Grant/Contract No.: 80NSSC17K0644 
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: 33 
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) Team:Risk of Performance and Behavioral Health Decrements Due to Inadequate Cooperation, Coordination, Communication, and Psychosocial Adaptation within a Team (IRP Rev F)
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-108:Given each crewmember 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 health and/or CNS/ cognitive functioning to develop threshold limits and validate countermeasures for any identified adverse crew health and/or operationally-relevant performance outcomes (IRP Rev L)
(4) Team-101:We need to understand the key threats, indicators, and evolution of the team throughout its life cycle for shifting autonomy and interface with automation in increasingly earth independent, long duration exploration missions (IRP Rev L)
(5) Team-103:We need to identify psychological and psychosocial factors, measures, and combinations thereof for use in selecting individuals and composing highly effective crews most likely to maintain team function during shifting autonomy in increasingly earth independent, long duration exploration missions (IRP Rev L)
Task Description: NASA’s vision for successful long-duration exploration missions (LDEM) depends on optimizing human performance, adaptability, and resiliency to reduce individual and crew behavioral risks. To date, the major emphasis in optimizing astronauts for their tolerance to prolonged spaceflight has involved human health and performance countermeasures as well as technologies and tools to ensure safety during exploration. However, considerable evidence suggests that there are individual differences among astronauts in their vulnerabilities to the various stressors of spaceflight. The goal of the proposed NSCOR (NASA Specialized Center of Research) is to obtain novel information that will help identify individuals who are resilient to the stressors of prolonged human spaceflight, thereby ensuring successful completion of exploration missions and the preservation of astronaut health over the life of the astronaut. This NSCOR project leverages the NIMH (National Instsitute of Mental Health) Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) heuristic framework to conduct experimental studies to identify biological domains (molecular, circuitry, physiology) and behavioral domains that relate to individual adaptation and resiliency (as well as behavioral vulnerability) in spaceflight-relevant confined and extreme environments (ICC and ICE). The NSCOR focuses specifically on differences among astronauts in their tolerance of and adaptability to simulated conditions of prolonged spaceflight that impact behavioral health and performance. The NSCOR will provide novel information on the extent to which behavioral and biological factors can be identified that predict astronauts who can maintain positive mood, proactive social processes, a high level of performance and personal well-being, while coping with confinement, meaningless work, limited social support, and living in the extreme environmental conditions of space. By utilizing the RDoC framework, three different human confinement analogs and an animal model, the NSCOR will generate data converging on biomarkers of neurobehavioral and neurobiological resilience to the spaceflight conditions. Such a discovery will help in selecting astronauts most likely to maintain human health and performance during long-duration exploration missions.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: This project will benefit the spaceflight community, specifically humans involved in spaceflight, by providing information that will help characterize the three less well-understood NIMH RDoC domains related to positive valence, negative valence, and social processes as they relate to performance, adaptation, and resilience of individuals living and working in ICC/ICE environments. We will identify predictive indicators and biomarkers for resilience and adaptation in individuals to aid in selection and individualized countermeasure development with the goal to maintain and optimize performance capability and behavioral health during Long Duration Exploration Missions.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2019 
Task Progress: Animal Model:

During the past year, Hensch and colleagues established molecular and behavioral biomarkers to assess confinement stress. First, we validated the accuracy with which peripheral measures of oxidative stress reflect brain levels. Isoprostanes are prostaglandin-like compounds detectable in urine formed from the free radical-catalyzed peroxidation of essential fatty acids such as lipids in both animal and human models of oxidative stress. Second, using a machine learning approach, we defined objective parameters associated with sociability. While dyadic assays have been used as a proxy of sociability in mice, this standardized test does not capture the true complexity of social behaviors that occur in groups. Social network analysis (SNA) uses graph theory to investigate the structure of social groups. This analytical approach is capable, for example, of identifying network participants that are more sociable or more likely to generate new social relationships.

Human Analogs:

Over the 4-year project period, N=90 healthy adult subjects (male and female, aged 30-55 years) will have been exposed to stressors that vary in intensity and duration, while living in one of the three ICC/ICE sites. Site 1 is the Isolation, Confinement, Analog Research Unit for Spaceflight (ICARUS) located at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). Site 2 is NASA’s Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) at Johnson Space Center (JSC). Site 3 is the German Antarctic station Neumayer-Station III (Neumayer). By having three analogs that vary in key ways relative to spaceflight stressors, we will be able to determine whether RDoC assessments of neural circuitry and biomarkers will vary with indices of adaptability and resilience by analog context and conditions.

During the reporting period for this Annual Report (9/5/2018-9/5/2019), all three human research sites (and the animal site at Harvard) initiated data collection. The investigator team held weekly/bi-weekly telecons (N=28) to discuss and resolve important issues related to data acquisition. This enabled the team to update its scheduled study runs as well as refine its list of biological biomarkers and questionnaires. Thus, in the past year, the NSCOR team finalized protocols, secured IRB (Institutional Review Board) approvals, implemented measures at each site, ordered essential materials and equipment, screened and empaneled study participants, and initiated data collection. There have been a total of n=29 human subjects run through this NSCOR project across all three sites over the past year. This includes n=2 subjects who withdrew resulting in an overall completion rate of 93%. Across NSCOR human research sites there has been a high rate of subject compliance to biological measures including MRI scans, blood draws, urine samples, and saliva collection.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 05/20/2022) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Dinges D, Basner M, Stahn A, Roma P, Hensch T, Nindl B, Flanagan S, Martin B, Gur R, Cordoza M, Bilker W. "NSCOR for evaluating risk factors and biomarkers for adaptation and resilience to spaceflight: Emotional valence and social processes in ICC/ICE environments." Poster presentation at the 2019 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 22-25, 2019.

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

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Dinges D, Basner M, Strangman G, Stuster J, Roma P, Mollicone D, Gur R, Stahn A, Dennis L, Ecker A, Nasrini J, Mott C. "Standardized behavioral measures for detecting behavioral health risks during exploration (Behavioral Core Measures)." Poster presentation at the 2019 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 22-25, 2019.

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

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Roma PG, Landon LB, Schneiderman JS. "Overview of NASA Behavioral Health & Performance Standard Measures." Presentation at the 2019 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 22-25, 2019.

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

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Roma PG, Landon LB, Schneiderman JS. "The NASA Behavioral Health & Performance Standard Measures Suite for Integrated Multidisciplinary Research in Isolated, Confined, and Extreme Environments." Presentation at the 2019 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 22-25, 2019.

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

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Roma PG, Landon LB, Schneiderman JS. "Overview of NASA Behavioral Health & Performance Standard Measures." Presentation at the 90th Aerospace Medicine Association Meeting, Las Vegas, NV, May 5-19, 2019.

Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance. 2019 Mar;90(3). , Mar-2019

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Wusk G, Basner M, Schneiderman J, Nasrini J, Baskin P, Dinges DF, Roma PG. "Individual differences in cognitive performance under chronic partial sleep restriction in isolation and confinement." Poster presentation at the a2019 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 22-25, 2019.

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

Articles in Other Journals or Periodicals Landon LB, Douglas GL, Downs ME, Greene MR, Whitmire AM, Zwart SR, Roma PG. "The behavioral biology of teams: Multidisciplinary contributions to social dynamics in isolated, confined, and extreme environments." Frontiers in Psychology. In Press as of July 2019. , Jul-2019
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Banks S, Landon LB, Dorrian J, Waggoner LB, Centofanti SA, Roma PG, Van Dongen HPA. "Effects of fatigue on teams and their role in 24/7 operations." Sleep Med Rev. 2019 Dec;48:101216. Epub 2019 Sep 28. Review. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2019.101216 ; PubMed PMID: 31630015 [note previously reported in July 2019 as "in press"] , Dec-2019
Books/Book Chapters Bell ST, Roma PG, Caldwell BJ. "Special considerations for conducting research in analog environments: Challenges, solutions, and what is needed." in "Psychology and Human Performance in Space Programs,Vol. 1: Research at the Frontier." Ed. L.B. Landon, K.J. Slack, E. Salas. New York: Taylor & Francis Group, In Press as of July 2019., Jul-2019
Books/Book Chapters Roma PG, Beckner ME, Mehta SK, Nindl BC, Crucian, BE. "Salivary bioscience in military, space, and operational research." in "Salivary Bioscience: Foundations of Interdisciplinary Saliva Research and Applications." Ed. M.K. Taylor, D.A. Granger. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG, In Press as of July 2019., Jul-2019
Books/Book Chapters Schorn JM, Roma PG. "Physical risks to behavioral health and performance in isolated, confined, and extreme environments." in "Psychology and Human Performance in Space Programs, Vol. 1: Research at the Frontier." Ed. L.B. Landon, K.J. Slack, E. Salas. New York: Taylor & Francis Group, In Press as of July 2019., Jul-2019
Project Title:  NSCOR for Evaluating Risk Factors and Biomarkers for Adaptation and Resilience to Spaceflight: Emotional Valence and Social Processes in ICC/ICE Environments Reduce
Images: icon  Fiscal Year: FY 2018 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Start Date: 09/05/2017  
End Date: 09/04/2021  
Task Last Updated: 07/06/2018 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Dinges, David F. Ph.D. / University of Pennsylvania 
Address:  Department of Psychiatry 
423 Service Dr., 1013 Blockley Hall 
Philadelphia , PA 19104-4209 
Email: dinges@pennmedicine.upenn.edu 
Phone: 215-898-9949  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: University of Pennsylvania 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Basner, Mathias  M.D., Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Bilker, Warren  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Chouker, Alexander  M.D. University of Munich 
Elliott, Mark  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Feiveson, Alan  Ph.D. NASA Johnson Space Center 
Flanagan, Shawn  Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh 
Gehrman, Philp  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Gunga, Hanns-Christian  M.D. Charite - Universitatsmedizin Berlin 
Gur, Ruben  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Kuehn, Simone  Ph.D. University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf 
Landon, Lauren  Ph.D. Wyle/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Nindl, Bradley  Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh 
Roalf, David  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Schneiderman, Jason  Ph.D. Wyle/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Stahn, Alexander  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Hensch, Takao  Ph.D. Boston Children's Hospital 
Roma, Peter  Ph.D. KBRWyle/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Whitmire, Alexandra  Ph.D. KBRwyle/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Martin, Brian  Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: July 2018 report: 1) Replaced Dr. Tom Williams with Dr. Pete Roma as Co-Investigator/Institutional PI at JSC. 2) Replaced Dr. Tom Williams with Dr. Bradley C. Nindl as NSCOR Co-Director. 3) Replaced Dr. Brandon Vessey as Co-Investigator with Dr. Lauren Landon as Co-Investigator at JSC. 4) Added Dr. Alexandra Whitmire as Co-Investigator. 5) Added Diana Arias to role of Support for initiating Wyle subcontracts at JSC. 6) Replaced Dr. Sarah McGuire with Dr. Mathias Basner as NSCOR ICARUS Site Environmental Lead in Dr. Dinges’ Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. 7) Added Dr. Brian Martin to role of Co-Investigator in Dr. Nindl’s laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. 8) Added Meaghan E. Beckner to role of PhD Research Fellow in Dr. Nindl’s laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. 9) Added Nathaniel Hodgson, PhD to role of Post-Doc in Dr. Hensch’s laboratory Harvard Boston Children’s Hospital. 10) Added Gervasio Batista, PhD to role of Post-Doc in Dr. Hensch’s laboratory at Harvard Boston Children’s Hospital.
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. 80NSSC17K0644 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Williams, Thomas  
Center Contact: 281-483-8773 
thomas.j.will1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2016-2017 HERO NNJ16ZSA001N-Crew Health (FLAGSHIP, OMNIBUS). Appendix A-Omnibus, Appendix B-Flagship 
Grant/Contract No.: 80NSSC17K0644 
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) Team:Risk of Performance and Behavioral Health Decrements Due to Inadequate Cooperation, Coordination, Communication, and Psychosocial Adaptation within a Team (IRP Rev F)
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-108:Given each crewmember 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 health and/or CNS/ cognitive functioning to develop threshold limits and validate countermeasures for any identified adverse crew health and/or operationally-relevant performance outcomes (IRP Rev L)
(4) Team-101:We need to understand the key threats, indicators, and evolution of the team throughout its life cycle for shifting autonomy and interface with automation in increasingly earth independent, long duration exploration missions (IRP Rev L)
(5) Team-103:We need to identify psychological and psychosocial factors, measures, and combinations thereof for use in selecting individuals and composing highly effective crews most likely to maintain team function during shifting autonomy in increasingly earth independent, long duration exploration missions (IRP Rev L)
Task Description: NASA’s vision for successful long-duration exploration missions (LDEM) depends on optimizing human performance, adaptability, and resiliency to reduce individual and crew behavioral risks. To date, the major emphasis in optimizing astronauts for their tolerance to prolonged spaceflight has involved human health and performance countermeasures as well as technologies and tools to ensure safety during exploration. However, considerable evidence suggests that there are individual differences among astronauts in their vulnerabilities to the various stressors of spaceflight. The goal of the proposed NSCOR (NASA Specialized Center of Research) is to obtain novel information that will help identify individuals who are resilient to the stressors of prolonged human spaceflight, thereby ensuring successful completion of exploration missions and the preservation of astronaut health over the life of the astronaut. This NSCOR project leverages the NIMH (National Instsitute of Mental Health) Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) heuristic framework to conduct experimental studies to identify biological domains (molecular, circuitry, physiology) and behavioral domains that relate to individual adaptation and resiliency (as well as behavioral vulnerability) in spaceflight-relevant confined and extreme environments (ICC and ICE). The NSCOR focuses specifically on differences among astronauts in their tolerance of and adaptability to simulated conditions of prolonged spaceflight that impact behavioral health and performance. The NSCOR will provide novel information on the extent to which behavioral and biological factors can be identified that predict astronauts who can maintain positive mood, proactive social processes, a high level of performance and personal well-being, while coping with confinement, meaningless work, limited social support, and living in the extreme environmental conditions of space. By utilizing the RDoC framework, three different human confinement analogs and an animal model, the NSCOR will generate data converging on biomarkers of neurobehavioral and neurobiological resilience to the spaceflight conditions. Such a discovery will help in selecting astronauts most likely to maintain human health and performance during long-duration exploration missions.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: In year 1, the Hensch lab established the physiological and behavioral consequences of early life stress (ELS) in mice. In a paradigm of fragmented maternal care (neglect), striking sex-specific outcomes were observed. Male mice raised under fragmented maternal care displayed externalizing behaviors as adults, including social dominance, increased territoriality, compulsive behaviors and social memory deficits. Instead, females exhibited internalizing symptoms, like heightened anxiety and perseveration on a rule-switching task. Inhibitory sub-circuits within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) were also differentially affected by sex following ELS: males showed enhanced inhibition of callosal projections, while females had reduced inhibition of sub-cortical projections. These findings indicate the early life history of subjects predisposes them to mental states which need to be considered prior to engaging in long-term spaceflight. They further suggest local circuit changes may be targeted differentially to correct later adult psychopathology in males and females raised under early adversity.

During the Definition Phase of this NSCOR project (10/5/17-4/5/18), a literature review was conducted to select biological biomarkers. Blood and saliva samples will be analyzed (to the extent funding is available), and urine samples will be collected and analyzed (to the extent funding is available) for these biomarkers, which the scientific literature indicates are associated with stress, emotional, and/or immune responses.

During the Definition Phase of this NSCOR project (10/5/17-4/5/18), a literature review was conducted to select and adapt questionnaires. Selected questionnaires will be administered as screening measures (administered pre-mission), characterization measures (administered pre/post-mission), and/or state-based measures (administered in-mission).

Selection, refinement, and development of relevant measures was also major goal of the NSCOR year-1 and Definition Phase activities. For the human research components, the BHP (Behavioral Health & Performance) Laboratory’s major contributions were in the domains of meaningful work and social support.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2018 
Task Progress: In year 1, the Hensch lab established the physiological and behavioral consequences of early life stress (ELS) in mice. In a paradigm of fragmented maternal care (neglect), striking sex-specific outcomes were observed. Male mice raised under fragmented maternal care displayed externalizing behaviors as adults, including social dominance, increased territoriality, compulsive behaviors, and social memory deficits. Instead, females exhibited internalizing symptoms, like heightened anxiety and perseveration on a rule-switching task. Inhibitory sub-circuits within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) were also differentially affected by sex following ELS: males showed enhanced inhibition of callosal projections, while females had reduced inhibition of sub-cortical projections. These findings indicate the early life history of subjects predisposes them to mental states which need to be considered prior to engaging in long-term spaceflight. They further suggest local circuit changes may be targeted differentially to correct later adult psychopathology in males and females raised under early adversity.

The following biomarkers, which have all been associated with stress, emotional, or immune responses in prior research, will be determined in venous blood samples (8 ml serum) collected at baseline and on a regular basis throughout the 3 ICC/E environments: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) (Lin, Suhr et al. 2014) , Neuropeptide Y (NPY), Ghrelin and oxytocin, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) (Beste, Baune et al. 2010; Hodes, Pfau et al. 2014; van Zuiden, Kavelaars et al. 2015), interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6) (Valkanova, Ebmeier et al. 2013), interleukin-10 (IL-10), and vitamin D. Blood samples will be taken by venipuncture in the morning after overnight fasting between 7 and 8 am to avoid circadian rhythm confounds. The Vacutainer® Safety-Lok TM Blood Collection Set and SST TM Tubes with Silica Clot Activator (Beckton, Dickinson & Company) from clinical suppliers certified as medical products (Sarstedt system) will be used to perform the blood draw. Immediately after collection serum samples will be centrifuged for 10 min at 1000 g, and then aliquoted in 8 cryovials of 250 µl each and then stored at -80°C. Serum parameters will be analyzed by ELISA (enzyme-linked immunoarbsorbat assay) kits (R&D Systems GmbH, Wiesbaden, Germany / IBL International GmbH, Hamburg, Germany). Cortisol will be determined from morning collections of saliva specimens, which will be collected by chewing on a salivette for approximately 3 minutes until it is soaked (Salivette; Sarsted, Rommelsdorf, Germany). Samples are immediately centrifuged at 1500 g for 15 min, and will then be stored at –80°C until shipping to Germany. Samples are analyzed for free cortisol by ELISA in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions (IBL International GmbH, Hamburg, Germany). On the same days as blood draws, we will gather 24 h ECG data (e.g., with the eMotion FAROS sensor (Mega Electronics Ltd., Kuopio, Finland) to derive heart rate and heart rate variability measures as a peripheral index of emotion regulatory processes that are affected by prefrontal mechanisms.

Analysis will encompass the biological basis of social support to assess individual sociability and the neurobehavioral contributions to resiliency and/or adaptability of engaging positively in social interactions, tolerance, and awareness (e.g., affiliation, attachment). Cellular and molecular biomarkers related to social systems (e.g., oxytocin) will reveal changes in the underlying neurobiological systems as a function of social support, before, during, and after being in an ICC/ICE environment. Individual differences in indicators of resilience measured before isolation will predict reported loneliness, higher perceived social support, and healthier social neurobiological systems. Individual differences in emotional regulation will provide the most robust evidence for how the neural circuitry moves up to behavior and social processes in self-report and interactions as well as downward toward cellular/molecular biomarkers (e.g., cortisol, BDNF, oxytocin, etc) with structural changes revealed by the fMRI.

Biomarkers of human performance optimization (Dr. Nindl’s Lab) will be tested prospectively within the Neumayer ICE analog. The extensive biomarker panel, analyzed in three separate isolation analogs, will provide insight to the most pertinent biological signatures of resiliency. This information will help guide the down-selection of biomarkers used in the selection of astronauts mostly likely to maintain health and performance in long-duration exploration missions.

During the Definition Phase of this NSCOR project (10/5/17-4/5/18), a literature review was conducted to select and adapt questionnaires. Selected questionnaires will be administered as screening measures (administered pre-mission), characterization measures (administered pre/post-mission), and/or state-based measures (administered in-mission).

The refinement of the biological biomarkers to be measured by blood, saliva, and urine (as funding permits) and refinement of questionnaires to be administered are vital to prepare for the Study Campaigns in each human analog (Neumayer, ICARUS, and HERA). Furthermore, the Meaningfulness of Work Battery that will be implemented in the analogs is crucial for Specific Aim 4.

References

Lin, F., J. Suhr, S. Diebold, and K.L. Heffner, Associations between depressive symptoms and memory deficits vary as a function of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) levels in healthy older adults. Psychoneuroendocrino, 2014. 42: p. 118-123

Beste, C., Baune, B. T., Falkenstein, M., & Konrad, C. (2010). Variations in the TNF-a gene (TNF-a-308G-->A) affect attention and action selection mechanisms in a dissociated fashion. Journal of neurophysiology, 104(5), 2523-2531

Hodes, G. E., Pfau, M. L., Leboeuf, M., Golden, S. A., Christoffel, D. J., Bregman, D., ... & Labonté, B. (2014). Individual differences in the peripheral immune system promote resilience versus susceptibility to social stress. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(45), 16136-16141

van Zuiden, M., Kavelaars, A., Vermetten, E., Olff, M., Geuze, E., & Heijnen, C. (2015). Pre-deployment differences in glucocorticoid sensitivity of leukocytes in soldiers developing symptoms of PTSD, depression or fatigue persist after return from military deployment. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 51, 513-524

Valkanova, V., Ebmeier, K. P., & Allan, C. L. (2013). CRP, IL-6 and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Journal of affective disorders, 150(3), 736-744

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 05/20/2022) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Roma PG, Schneiderman JS, Landon LB, Whitmire AM, Williams TJ. "Overview of NASA Behavioral Health & Performance Standard Measures." Presentation at the annual meeting of the 89th Aerospace Medicine Association Meeting, Dallas, TX, May 6-10, 2018.

Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance. 2018 Mar;89(3):218. , Mar-2018

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Landon LB, Roma PG, Whitmire A. "Team-Level Effects of Sleep and Fatigue: Wake Up, Researchers!" Presentation at the 33rd Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Chicago, IL, April 19-21, 2018.

33rd Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Chicago, IL, April 19-21, 2018. , Apr-2018

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Roma PG, Schneiderman JS, Landon LB, Whitmire AM. "Overview of NASA Behavioral Health & Performance Standard Measures." Poster presentation at the 2018 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 22-25, 2018.

2018 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 22-25, 2018. , Jan-2018

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Roma PG, Schneiderman JS, Landon LB, Whitmire AM, Baskin P, Arias DP. "Overview of the NASA Behavioral Health & Performance Laboratory." Poster presentation at the 2018 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 22-25, 2018.

2018 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 22-25, 2018. , Jan-2018

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Dinges DF, Basner M, Bilker WB, Gur RC, Hensch T, Nindl BC, Roma P, Stahn AC, and the NSCOR Investigative Group. "NSCOR for Evaluating Risk Factors and Biomarkers for Adaptation and Resilience to Spaceflight: Emotional Valence and Social Processes in ICC/ICE Environments." 2018 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 22-25, 2018.

2018 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 22-25, 2018. , Jan-2018

Project Title:  NSCOR for Evaluating Risk Factors and Biomarkers for Adaptation and Resilience to Spaceflight: Emotional Valence and Social Processes in ICC/ICE Environments Reduce
Images: icon  Fiscal Year: FY 2017 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Start Date: 09/05/2017  
End Date: 09/04/2021  
Task Last Updated: 10/17/2017 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Dinges, David F. Ph.D. / University of Pennsylvania 
Address:  Department of Psychiatry 
423 Service Dr., 1013 Blockley Hall 
Philadelphia , PA 19104-4209 
Email: dinges@pennmedicine.upenn.edu 
Phone: 215-898-9949  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: University of Pennsylvania 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Basner, Mathias  M.D., Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Bilker, Warren  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Chouker, Alexander  M.D. University of Munich 
Elliott, Mark  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Feiveson, Alan  Ph.D. NASA Johnson Space Center 
Flanagan, Shawn  Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh 
Gehrman, Philp  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Gunga, Hanns-Christian  M.D. Charite - Universitatsmedizin Berlin 
Gur, Ruben  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Kuehn, Simone  Ph.D. University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf 
Landon, Lauren  Ph.D. Wyle/NASA Johnson Space Center 
McGuire, Sarah  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Nindl, Bradley  Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh 
Roalf, David  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Schneiderman, Jason  Ph.D. Wyle/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Stahn, Alexander  Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 
Vessey, William  Ph.D. Wyle/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Hensch, Takao  Ph.D. Boston Children's Hospital 
Williams, Tom  Ph.D. Wyle/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. 80NSSC17K0644 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Williams, Thomas  
Center Contact: 281-483-8773 
thomas.j.will1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2016-2017 HERO NNJ16ZSA001N-Crew Health (FLAGSHIP, OMNIBUS). Appendix A-Omnibus, Appendix B-Flagship 
Grant/Contract No.: 80NSSC17K0644 
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) Team:Risk of Performance and Behavioral Health Decrements Due to Inadequate Cooperation, Coordination, Communication, and Psychosocial Adaptation within a Team (IRP Rev F)
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-108:Given each crewmember 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 health and/or CNS/ cognitive functioning to develop threshold limits and validate countermeasures for any identified adverse crew health and/or operationally-relevant performance outcomes (IRP Rev L)
(4) Team-101:We need to understand the key threats, indicators, and evolution of the team throughout its life cycle for shifting autonomy and interface with automation in increasingly earth independent, long duration exploration missions (IRP Rev L)
(5) Team-103:We need to identify psychological and psychosocial factors, measures, and combinations thereof for use in selecting individuals and composing highly effective crews most likely to maintain team function during shifting autonomy in increasingly earth independent, long duration exploration missions (IRP Rev L)
Task Description: NASA’s vision for successful long-duration exploration missions (LDEM) depends on optimizing human performance, adaptability, and resiliency to reduce individual and crew behavioral risks. To date, the major emphasis in optimizing astronauts for their tolerance to prolonged spaceflight has involved human health and performance countermeasures as well as technologies and tools to ensure safety during exploration. However, considerable evidence suggests that there are individual differences among astronauts in their vulnerabilities to the various stressors of spaceflight. The goal of the proposed NSCOR (NASA Specialized Center of Research) is to obtain novel information that will help identify individuals who are resilient to the stressors of prolonged human spaceflight, thereby ensuring successful completion of exploration missions and the preservation of astronaut health over the life of the astronaut. This NSCOR project leverages the NIMH (National Instsitute of Mental Health) Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) heuristic framework to conduct experimental studies to identify biological domains (molecular, circuitry, physiology) and behavioral domains that relate to individual adaptation and resiliency (as well as behavioral vulnerability) in spaceflight-relevant confined and extreme environments (ICC and ICE). The NSCOR focuses specifically on differences among astronauts in their tolerance of and adaptability to simulated conditions of prolonged spaceflight that impact behavioral health and performance. The NSCOR will provide novel information on the extent to which behavioral and biological factors can be identified that predict astronauts who can maintain positive mood, proactive social processes, a high level of performance and personal well-being, while coping with confinement, meaningless work, limited social support, and living in the extreme environmental conditions of space. By utilizing the RDoC framework, three different human confinement analogs and an animal model, the NSCOR will generate data converging on biomarkers of neurobehavioral and neurobiological resilience to the spaceflight conditions. Such a discovery will help in selecting astronauts most likely to maintain human health and performance during long-duration exploration missions.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits:

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2017 
Task Progress: New project for FY2017.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 05/20/2022) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2017