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Project Title:  Effect of Sensorimotor Adaptation Following Long-Duration Spaceflight on Perception and Control of Vehicular Motion Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2016 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 10/01/2009  
End Date: 08/15/2016  
Task Last Updated: 05/09/2017 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Wood, Scott J. Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  2101 NASA Parkway 
Mail code SD2 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: scott.j.wood@nasa.gov 
Phone: (281) 483-6329  
Congressional District: 36 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments: NOTE: PI returned to NASA JSC in January 2017. PI was at Azusa Pacific University from August 2013 – January 2017; prior to August 2013, PI was at NASA JSC. 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: None
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Internal Project 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Loerch, Linda  
Center Contact:  
linda.loerch-1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation: 2008 Crew Health NNJ08ZSA002N 
Grant/Contract No.: Internal Project 
Project Type: FLIGHT 
Flight Program: ISS 
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) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sensorimotor (SM):Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft, Associated Systems and Immediate Vehicle Egress Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Space Flight
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SM2.1:Determine the changes in sensorimotor function over the course of a mission and during recovery after landing (IRP Rev F)
(2) SM6.1:Determine if sensorimotor dysfunction during and after long-duration spaceflight affects ability to control spacecraft and associated systems (IRP Rev F)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: ISS Expeditions 32S, 33S, 35S, 37S, 38S, 39S, and 41S (per PI) (Ed., 8/7/14)

ISS Increments 33-34, 35-36, and 37-38 (pending in September 2012)--per PI (Ed., 8/7/2012)

NOTE: End date is 8/15/2016 per L. Taylor/JSC HRP (Ed., 5/10/2017)

NOTE: End date is now 2/29/2016 per HRP Master Task List dated 7/12/2011 (Ed., 8/4/2011)

Task Description: The central nervous system must resolve new patterns of sensory cues during movement in a novel gravitoinertial environment in order to maintain accurate spatial orientation awareness. We hypothesize that adaptive change in how inertial cues from the vestibular system are integrated with other sensory information leads to perceptual disturbances and impaired manual control during transition to a new gravity environment. The primary goals of this investigation are to quantify post-flight decrements in manual control performance during a rover simulation (both acute and recovery), and to examine the relationship between manual control errors and adaptive changes in sensorimotor function and motion perception. Eight crewmembers returning from 6 month stays onboard the International Space Station (ISS) will be tested on a six degree-of-freedom motion simulator during four pre-flight and three post-flight sessions on R+0/1, 4, and 8 days following landing. Ground control studies on non-astronauts will assess effects associated with learning across multiple sessions, changes in proficiency as a function of time between pre- and post-flight sessions and two factors of influence studies involving changes in performance with galvanic vestibular stimulation and acute sleep loss.

This rover simulation study has been incorporated within the manual control study titled “Assessment of operator proficiency following long-duration spaceflight” under the direction of principal investigator Dr. Steven Moore. Dr. Moore’s project includes a test battery to assess sensorimotor and cognitive function, including vestibular (pitch/roll tilt motion perception), visual acuity, manual dexterity, manual tracking with and without dual tasking, reaction time, sleepiness scale, perspective taking, and spatial memory (match-to-sample). Dr. Moore’s experiment also includes driving and flying simulations. According to our hypothesis, we predict that decrements in sensorimotor and cognitive function will correlate with performance metrics during the operator simulations.

The simulator utilizes a Stewart-type motion base (CKAS, Australia), single-seat cabin with triple scene projection covering 150° horizontal by 50° vertical, and joystick controller. The rover simulation consists of a serial presentation of four discrete docking tasks that the crewmember attempts to complete within each session. Each task consists of 1) perspective-taking, using a map that defines the rover orientation and location relative to the docking target, 2) navigation toward the target around a Martian outpost as efficiently as possible, and 3) docking a side hatch of the rover to another rover or habitat hatch using a visually guided targeting system. The primary dependent variables obtained from each component include time to completion and accuracy. At the completion of each task, a new perspective map will appear to initiate the next task in the series. The total time the crewmember can complete four docking tasks will determine the overall operator proficiency for the rover simulation.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Sensorimotor function is critical for spatial orientation, gaze stabilization, and postural stability. This project examines how adaptive changes in sensorimotor and cognitive function may increase the risk of impaired ability to maintain control of vehicles and other complex systems. The goal is to map changes in physiological function with functional measures of manual control. Establishing these relationships will be relevant to how pathophysiological impairments in sensorimotor processing may affect other vehicular control tasks, such as driving with vestibular patients. Vehicle driving is one of the most complex tasks required of humans. A majority of vestibular-impaired patients report that driving is difficult or dangerous. Successful completion of this project will contribute to the development of assessment techniques for determining fitness for driving duty. Specifically, the rover simulation utilizes a multiple degree-of-freedom motion base simulator to address aspects of vehicular control performance, including perspective taking, navigating a course safely, and fine positioning control. This approach can be easily adapted to a wide variety of simulated vehicle designs to provide similar assessments in other operational and civilian populations.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2016 
Task Progress: FINAL REPORTING--MAY 2017

During the final period of reporting, we completed a ground study on the effects of sleepiness on our rover simulation measures. The Stanford Sleepiness Scale was incorporated in our pre- and post-flight astronaut study as a subjective report from each crewmember on their level of sleepiness at the time of testing. There was a significant increase in sleepiness level reported during our first post-flight session (4.0 ± 1.6 on R+0 versus 2.0 ± 0.5 on the final preflight session, mean ± SD). The purpose of this factors-of-influence study was to characterize the sensitivity of specific measures to sleepiness independent of post-flight neurosensory adaptation. In order to accomplish this, nine subjects participated in a 30-hour sleep restriction period. Due to an equipment malfunction following the sleep restriction period, data from 8 subjects are included in this report. A limited set of our experimental measures from the integrated protocol were compared before and immediately after this sleep restriction. These included the driving simulation, rover simulation, dual tracking task, reaction time, and the Stanford Sleepiness Scale. Each subject participated in three baseline laboratory sessions (separated by at least one week), the 30 hr sleep restriction period, and a post-sleep restriction laboratory session. In order to acquire task proficiency in the three baseline sessions, each subject performed eight rover trials during the first two sessions. The effects of sleep restriction were then assessed by comparing the change between the last baseline session and the post-sleep restriction session, which were conducted with 4 rover trials identical to the flight protocol.

Throughout the sleep restriction period, subjects also participated in a 3-min psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) to monitor changes in behavioral alertness (Basner et al. 2011). This test was administered on an iPad (Joggle Research, Seattle, WA). At each test administration, subjects recorded their score on the Stanford Sleepiness Scale and described their activities since the previous test. Based on these self-reports, all subjects were able to complete the entire 30 hr period without sleep. Subjects maintained a normal amount of caffeine consumption during the final 10 hours of the sleep restriction period. The PVT and questionnaire were repeated at 5 hr intervals during the first 10 hr block, 2 hr intervals during the second 10 hr block, and 1 hr intervals during the final 10 hr block for a total of 18 times. The final PVT was conducted in the lab just prior to conducting the manual control test measures.

There was a highly significant increase in the Stanford Sleepiness Scale during the sleep deprivation period (p<0.001). Although mean score reported in the lab was slightly reduced from the last one reported at home (4.1 ± 1.8 at 29th hour versus 3.3 ± 1.3 in the lab), this 30-hr sleepiness score was still significantly higher than that reported in the previous baseline tests (p=0.007). The PVT mean reaction time (RT) scores were significantly related sleepiness scores (p=0.001), and were therefore used as the main outcome variable for the PVT. There was a significant increase in mean RT during the sleep deprivation period, F(17, 136)=3.1, p<0.001. During the last PVT recorded at home (29th hour), mean RT significantly increased 25.6 ± 31.7 ms over the first mean RT obtained at home soon after waking, t(8)=2.4, p=0.04. However, similar to the subjective sleepiness scores, mean RT obtained in the lab at the 30th hour was reduced compared to the last one obtained at home.

No significant changes were found in any of the Mars rover simulation parameters between the last baseline session and the post-acute sleep restriction session. These results suggest that the subjects may have been able to remain as vigilant during rover simulation following 30-hour sleep deprivation period as they were during the final baseline session despite being subjectively more tired. We conclude it is important to control for functional alertness, or vigilance, rather than just sleepiness when testing for the neurosensory consequences of sleep loss.

During this final year, we also made progress on a peer-reviewed manuscript to summarize our results. The main conclusions and recommendations from our study are summarized below:

In conclusion, the results from our study appear consistent with our hypothesis that adaptive changes in how inertial cues from the vestibular system are integrated with other sensory information can lead to impaired manual control during transition to a new gravity environment. However, these impairments are highly variable across crewmembers. In tasks like the rover simulation, some amount of neurosensory disruption can be compensated by greater reliance on effective visual cues. Based on our results, future design reference missions can assume that most crewmembers should be able to perform seated rover type tasks within the first few days following landing.

There are a number of countermeasures that should be explored while access is available to returning crews from the International Space Station (ISS). Similar to the “PILOT” project during the Shuttle era, 'just-in-time' refresher training for landing and post-flight manual control tasks would be especially important to develop. This will be true for novel operational tasks such as the rover that will be more affected by learning effects. The value of this countermeasure approach will depend of course on level of fidelity that can be incorporated. Fidelity of the training simulations could be heightened by utilizing vestibular perturbations such as Galvanic vestibular stimulation, which will promote development of compensatory strategies that reduce reliance on vestibular input.

Similar to the heads-up display in the Shuttle cockpit, improved displays will provide an important countermeasure. The docking alignment guides included in our rover simulation minimized the alignment errors we would have otherwise captured if the alignment was performed with the side cameras alone. It is important to note that the display aids can by non-visual, such as vibrotactile feedback that has proven successful in improving pilot performance in rotatory wing aircraft (Rupert 2004).

An improved awareness of sensorimotor-cognitive status will help performance in crewmembers during autonomous operations. This awareness may result from improvements in both adaptability training paradigms (Bloomberg et al. 2015) as well as self-administered testing that relies on established standards. These tests should include functional tests for sensorimotor function and spatial awareness, and also include tests for vigilance and cognitive reserve during dual tasking. For post-landing tasks such as operating rovers, the level of head movements and general activity following landing is an extremely important component in promoting adaptation to the new g state. Either restricting head movements and activity too much or allowing too much amplitude can exacerbate symptoms and impede adaptation to the new state. The earlier introduction of head movements and other motor activity after landing, as long as self-paced within one’s threshold for motion tolerance (“Goldilock’s” approach), is recommended to facilitate the transition to minimize sensorimotor related manual control risks (Wood et al. 2011).

References

Basner M, Mollicone D, Dinges DF (2011) Validity and Sensitivity of a Brief Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT-B) to Total and Partial Sleep Deprivation. Acta Astronaut 69:949-959

Rupert AH (2004) The future of tactile systems for military applications. Aviat Space Environ Med 75:B97

Bloomberg JJ, Peters BT, Cohen HS, Mulavara AP (2015) Enhancing astronaut performance using sensorimotor adaptability training. Front Syst Neurosci 9:129

Wood SJ, Loehr JA, Guilliams ME (2011) Sensorimotor reconditioning during and after spaceflight. NeuroRehabilitation 29:185-195

ANNUAL REPORTING--JULY 2015

ISS Flight Study: Our flight study utilized a repeated measures pre- versus post-flight design on eight ISS astronauts, where each subject served as their own control. During this reporting period, the final data collection was completed for the flight study with the 41S landing in June 2015. The duration of these ISS missions was 5.6 ± 0.7 months (mean ± standard deviation, SD) with a range from 4.7 to 6.6 months. The time separating the last preflight session with the first postflight session was 8.1 ± 0.5 months (mean ± SD) with a range from 7.2 to 8.8 months. Seven of the eight crewmembers were tested within the “R+0” schedule following the direct return to Houston prior to the first sleep period at crew quarters.

Perspective taking: At the beginning of each trial, the subject was presented a map detailing the current location of the rover along with the docking location to which they were to navigate. Subjects used a joystick to point in the relative direction of the docking target from their starting position, without receiving any visual feedback of their pointing accuracy. Both time to complete and accuracy (absolute error in deg) were the primary dependent measures.

Path navigation: After completing the perspective taking task, the subject drove the rover to the desired location as fast as possible while avoiding obstacles. The time to arrive within a set radius of the docking target, and total path length were the main dependent measures. The navigation phase had a 120 sec time limit, after which the subjects would be forwarded to the docking area. Further analysis of this data will also focus on characterizing the linear accelerations that the crewmembers exposed themselves to during the path navigation phase.

Docking task: Once the subjects arrived at the final docking area (either a habitat module or another rover), visual references provided the precise location and alignment angles to guide the subject in completing a docking task. The subject was required to use side camera views to precisely position one of the rover’s side hatches at the docking target. Time to complete the docking and misalignment angle were the primary dependent measures. The docking task had a 90 sec time limit to completion.

Overall proficiency: The four rover trials were conducted in a consistent order across all subjects and sessions. The cumulative time to complete all four trials each session (including perspective taking, navigation, and docking phases) was used as a measure of overall operator proficiency for the rover simulation.

Ground control studies

Changes as a function of session recency (shadow control study): For the flight study, changes in proficiency were expected as a function of time lapsed independent of the effects of microgravity. As described above, there were ~8 months between the last preflight and first postflight sessions. One of our ground control studies completed this past year examined the changes in operator proficiency following an 8-month gap between the 4th and 5th sessions as a control for this recency effect (referred to as a shadow control study). Since this control study included Dr. Moore’s T38 simulation, age and gender matched non-astronaut pilots were recruited to participate.

Changes as a function of acute sleep loss: The Stanford Sleepiness Scale was incorporated in our pre- and post-flight astronaut study as a subjective report from each crewmember on their level of sleepiness at the time of each session. This scale (based on Hoddes et al., Pschophysiol, 1973) is a seven point scale ranging from 1 feeling wide awake to 7 sleep onset soon. The last preflight session mean score was 1.9 (± 0.4 SD) representing “functioning at a high level.” There was a significant increase in sleepiness reported during our first post-flight session (4.1 ± 1.7 SD representing "a little foggy"). This suggests that sleepiness could have potentially contributed to the impairments observed for some of our post-flight measures. Therefore, during our final year we have initiated a factors-of-influence study to examine the effect of acute sleep loss to characterize the sensitivity of our measures to sleepiness independent of post-flight neurosensory adaptation. In order to accomplish this, twelve subjects will be recruited to participate in a 30-hour sleep restriction period.

Each subject will participate in three baseline laboratory sessions (separated by at least one week), the 30 hr sleep restriction period, and a post-sleep restriction laboratory session. The three baseline sessions are required to acquire task proficiency to minimize learning effects. Throughout the sleep restriction period, subjects will also participate in an additional short test battery conducted on a tablet or laptop computer, including the psychomotor vigilance test (PVT), to monitor fatigue-related changes in cognitive performance. This cognition battery will be administered on an iPad or laptop (Basner et al., 2011). In addition to a baseline test at the beginning of the sleep restriction period, this cognition test battery will be performed at 5 hr intervals during the first 10 hr block, 2 hr intervals during the second 10 hr block, and 1 hr intervals during the final 10 hr block for a total of 18 times. The final test battery will be completed in the lab just prior to conducting the manual control test measures (driving simulation, rover simulation, dual tracking task, and reaction time test).

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 08/02/2020)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Lopez B, Pereira MA, Wood SJ. "Visual feedback compensates for vestibular impairment during roll tilt." Presented at the 27th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, New York, NY, May 21-24, 2015.

27th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, New York, NY, May 21-24, 2015. , May-2015

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Beltran EJ, Wood SJ, Moore ST. "Assessment of proficiency during simulated rover operations following long-duration spaceflight." Presented at the 2015 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 13-15, 2015. Workshop: Integrated Pathways to Mars.

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

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Beltran EJ, Wood SJ, Moore ST. "Assessment of proficiency during simulated rover operations following long-duration spaceflight." Presented at the 2016 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 8-11, 2016.

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

Project Title:  Effect of Sensorimotor Adaptation Following Long-Duration Spaceflight on Perception and Control of Vehicular Motion Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2015 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 10/01/2009  
End Date: 02/29/2016  
Task Last Updated: 08/01/2014 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Wood, Scott J. Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  2101 NASA Parkway 
Mail code SD2 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: scott.j.wood@nasa.gov 
Phone: (281) 483-6329  
Congressional District: 36 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments: NOTE: PI returned to NASA JSC in January 2017. PI was at Azusa Pacific University from August 2013 – January 2017; prior to August 2013, PI was at NASA JSC. 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: None
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Internal Project 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Loerch, Linda  
Center Contact:  
linda.loerch-1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation: 2008 Crew Health NNJ08ZSA002N 
Grant/Contract No.: Internal Project 
Project Type: FLIGHT 
Flight Program: ISS 
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) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sensorimotor (SM):Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft, Associated Systems and Immediate Vehicle Egress Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Space Flight
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SM2.1:Determine the changes in sensorimotor function over the course of a mission and during recovery after landing (IRP Rev F)
(2) SM6.1:Determine if sensorimotor dysfunction during and after long-duration spaceflight affects ability to control spacecraft and associated systems (IRP Rev F)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: ISS Expeditions 32S, 33S, 35S, 37S, 38S, 39S, and 41S (per PI) (Ed., 8/7/14)

ISS Increments 33-34, 35-36, and 37-38 (pending in September 2012)--per PI (Ed., 8/7/2012)

NOTE: End date is now 2/29/2016 per HRP Master Task List dated 7/12/2011 (Ed., 8/4/2011)

Task Description: The central nervous system must resolve new patterns of sensory cues during movement in a novel gravitoinertial environment in order to maintain accurate spatial orientation awareness. We hypothesize that adaptive change in how inertial cues from the vestibular system are integrated with other sensory information leads to perceptual disturbances and impaired manual control during transition to a new gravity environment. The primary goals of this investigation are to quantify post-flight decrements in manual control performance during a rover simulation (both acute and recovery), and to examine the relationship between manual control errors and adaptive changes in sensorimotor function and motion perception. Eight crewmembers returning from 6 month stays onboard the International Space Station (ISS) will be tested on a six degree-of-freedom motion simulator during four pre-flight and three post-flight sessions on R+1, 4 and 8 days following landing. Ground control studies on non-astronauts will assess effects associated with learning across multiple sessions, changes in proficiency as a function of time between pre- and post-flight sessions and changes in performance during galvanic vestibular stimulation.

This rover simulation study has been incorporated within the manual control study titled “Assessment of operator proficiency following long-duration spaceflight” under the direction of principal investigator Dr. Steven Moore. Dr. Moore’s project includes a test battery to assess sensorimotor and cognitive function, including vestibular (pitch/roll tilt motion perception), visual acuity, manual dexterity, manual tracking with and without dual tasking, reaction time, sleepiness scale, perspective taking and spatial memory (match-to-sample). Dr. Moore’s experiment also includes driving and flying simulations. According to our hypothesis, we predict that decrements in sensorimotor and cognitive function will correlate with performance metrics during the operator simulations.

The simulator utilizes a Stewart-type motion base (CKAS, Australia), single-seat cabin with triple scene projection covering 150° horizontal by 50° vertical, and joystick controller. The rover simulation consists of a serial presentation of four discrete docking tasks that the crewmember attempts to complete within each session. Each task consists of 1) perspective-taking, using a map that defines the rover orientation and location relative to the docking target, 2) navigation toward the target around a Martian outpost as efficiently as possible, and 3) docking a side hatch of the rover to another rover or habitat hatch using a visually guided targeting system. The primary dependent variables obtained from each component include time to completion and accuracy. At the completion of each task, a new perspective map will appear to initiate the next task in the series. The total time the crewmember can complete four docking tasks will determine the overall operator proficiency for the rover simulation.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Sensorimotor function is critical for spatial orientation, gaze stabilization, and postural stability. This project examines how adaptive changes in sensorimotor and cognitive function may increase the risk of impaired ability to maintain control of vehicles and other complex systems. The goal is to map changes in physiological function with functional measures of manual control. Establishing these relationships will be relevant to how pathophysiological impairments in sensorimotor processing may affect other vehicular control tasks, such as driving with vestibular patients. Vehicle driving is one of the most complex tasks required of humans. A majority of vestibular-impaired patients report that driving is difficult or dangerous. Successful completion of this project will contribute to the development of assessment techniques for determining fitness for driving duty. Specifically, the rover simulation utilizes a multiple degree-of-freedom motion base simulator to address aspects of vehicular control performance, including perspective taking, navigating a course safely, and fine positioning control. This approach can be easily adapted to a wide variety of simulated vehicle designs to provide similar assessments in other operational and civilian populations.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2015 
Task Progress: ISS Flight Study: Our flight study utilizes repeated measures pre- versus post-flight design on eight ISS astronauts, where each subject will serve as their own control. Between November and May of this past year postflight data collection was completed on three additional subjects. A sixth crewmember is scheduled to complete the study by the end of this reporting period. Preflight data was also conducted on the final three flight subjects. The final subject is targeted for the 41S landing in May 2015.

Ground control studies

Changes as a function of session recency (shadow control study). For the flight study, some changes in proficiency are expected as a function of time independent of the effects of microgravity. There are typically about 8 months between the last preflight and first postflight sessions. One of our ground control studies will examine the changes in operator proficiency following an 8-month gap between the 4th and 5th sessions as a control for this recency effect. One of the major efforts for the team at JSC this past year was to initiate this shadow control study to be conducted on at least 8 subjects. Since this control study will include Dr. Moore’s T38 simulation, age and gender matched non-astronaut pilots have been recruited to participate. To date nine subjects are in progress and 11 subjects have been recruited. Up to 12 subjects will be recruited to account for attrition following the 8 month gap between the simulated “preflight” and “postflight” sessions.

Effects of learning across sessions. Our first ground study was conducted to determine the acquisition of skill proficiency in our novel rover simulation. Twenty healthy subjects were tested in 5 sessions, with 1-3 days between sessions. This study also served as a normative data set to establish the reliability of the rover analysis methods and finalize the set of four docking tasks used throughout the flight study.

Changes during galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS). As a factor of influence study, we also measured performance during the rover simulation in 11 subjects with and without GVS. High levels of GVS (3-5 mA) have been utilized extensively as a sensorimotor spaceflight analog to assess the effects of disrupting vestibular function on posturography, locomotion, manual control, and cognitive function. Each subject performed four different rover trials with GVS, and the same four trials without GVS, for a total of eight trials each. As previously reported, the presence of GVS increased the variability of responses for all three subtasks – perspective taking, navigation, and docking. Some subjects were more affected than others. These results suggest that some subjects may be utilizing visual feedback more effectively to compensate for the vestibular disturbance caused by GVS.

Therefore, we also conducted a second session in which subjects were asked to perform both subjective vertical tasks and closed-loop nulling with and without GVS with both visual feedback and in the dark. For the perception task, subjects were asked to report their perceived tilt during roll axis disturbances by maintaining the joystick aligned with Earth-vertical. The primary measure was the root mean square (RMS) error. For the nulling task, subjects were asked to null roll axis disturbances using the same joystick. Nulling gain was derived from least squares regression fits relative to the tilt profile command, using 1-slope so that higher gain meant that more tilt was nulled and the cabin remained more upright, while lower gains reflected more tilt movement of the cabin.

Tilt perceptual errors were significantly increased with GVS. Perceptual errors were reduced with eyes open and an Earth visual reference. With the visual reference, subjects were able to indicate tilt as accurately with or without GVS, suggesting a visual compensation for the vestibular disturbance. Tilt nulling gain was generally greatest in the same conditions in which tilt perceptual errors were reduced. While GVS had less effect on nulling performance, the closed loop control task with a visual reference was significantly improved over the eyes closed conditions. In a similar manner, we might expect that any decrements in the post-flight rover performance due to vestibular impairment may be compensated by the visual references that the rover simulation provides.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 08/02/2020)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Pereira MA, Paloski W, Wood SJ. "Head and trunk stability during roll motion with galvanic vestibular stimulation." Presented at the 37th Association for Research in Otolaryngology MidWinter Meeting, San Diego, CA, February 22-26, 2014.

Association for Research in Otolaryngology Abstracts. 2014;37: Abstract #PS-640. p. 398. , Feb-2014

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Moore ST, Dilda V, Morris TR, MacDougall HG, Wood SJ. "Assessment of operator proficiency after long duration spaceflight." Paper presented at the 2014 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-13, 2014.

2014 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-13, 2014. http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/hrp2014/pdf/3169.pdf , Feb-2014

Project Title:  Effect of Sensorimotor Adaptation Following Long-Duration Spaceflight on Perception and Control of Vehicular Motion Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2014 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 10/01/2009  
End Date: 02/29/2016  
Task Last Updated: 08/02/2013 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Wood, Scott J. Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  2101 NASA Parkway 
Mail code SD2 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: scott.j.wood@nasa.gov 
Phone: (281) 483-6329  
Congressional District: 36 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments: NOTE: PI returned to NASA JSC in January 2017. PI was at Azusa Pacific University from August 2013 – January 2017; prior to August 2013, PI was at NASA JSC. 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: None
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Internal Project 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Loerch, Linda  
Center Contact:  
linda.loerch-1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation: 2008 Crew Health NNJ08ZSA002N 
Grant/Contract No.: Internal Project 
Project Type: FLIGHT 
Flight Program: ISS 
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) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sensorimotor (SM):Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft, Associated Systems and Immediate Vehicle Egress Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Space Flight
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SM2.1:Determine the changes in sensorimotor function over the course of a mission and during recovery after landing (IRP Rev F)
(2) SM6.1:Determine if sensorimotor dysfunction during and after long-duration spaceflight affects ability to control spacecraft and associated systems (IRP Rev F)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: ISS Increments 33-34, 35-36, and 37-38 (pending in September 2012)--per PI (Ed., 8/7/2012)

NOTE: End date is now 2/29/2016 per HRP Master Task List dated 7/12/2011 (Ed., 8/4/2011)

Task Description: The central nervous system must resolve new patterns of sensory cues during movement in a novel gravitoinertial environment in order to maintain accurate spatial orientation awareness. We hypothesize that adaptive change in how inertial cues from the vestibular system are integrated with other sensory information leads to perceptual disturbances and impaired manual control during transition to a new gravity environment. The primary goals of this investigation are to quantify post-flight decrements in manual control performance during a rover simulation (both acute and recovery), and to examine the relationship between manual control errors and adaptive changes in sensorimotor function and motion perception. Eight crewmembers returning from 6 month stays onboard the International Space Station (ISS) will be tested on a six degree-of-freedom motion simulator during four pre-flight and three post-flight sessions on R+1, 4 and 8 days following landing. Ground control studies on non-astronauts will assess effects associated with learning across multiple sessions, changes in proficiency as a function of time between pre- and post-flight sessions and changes in performance during galvanic vestibular stimulation.

This rover simulation study has been incorporated within the manual control study titled “Assessment of operator proficiency following long-duration spaceflight” under the direction of principal investigator Dr. Steven Moore. Dr. Moore’s project includes a test battery to assess sensorimotor and cognitive function, including vestibular (pitch/roll tilt motion perception), visual acuity, manual dexterity, manual tracking with and without dual tasking, reaction time, sleepiness scale, perspective taking and spatial memory (match-to-sample). Dr. Moore’s experiment also includes driving and flying simulations. According to our hypothesis, we predict that decrements in sensorimotor and cognitive function will correlate with performance metrics during the operator simulations. The simulator utilizes a Stewart-type motion base (CKAS, Australia), single-seat cabin with triple scene projection covering 150° horizontal by 50° vertical, and joystick controller. The rover simulation consists of serial presentation of discrete docking tasks that the crewmember attempts to complete within a scheduled 10 min block. Each task consists of 1) perspective-taking, using a map that defines the rover orientation and location relative to the docking target, 2) navigation toward the target around a Martian outpost as efficiently as possible, and 3) docking a side hatch of the rover to another rover or habitat hatch using a visually guided targeting system. The primary dependent variables obtained from each component include time to completion and accuracy. At the completion of each task, a new perspective map will appear to initiate the next task in the series. The number of tasks the crewmember can complete during the 10 min time block will determine the overall operator proficiency.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Sensorimotor function is critical for spatial orientation, gaze stabilization, and postural stability. This project examines how adaptive changes in sensorimotor and cognitive function may increase the risk of impaired ability to maintain control of vehicles and other complex systems. The goal is to map changes in physiological function with functional measures of manual control. Establishing these relationships will be relevant to how pathophysiological impairments in sensorimotor processing may affect other vehicular control tasks, such as driving with vestibular patients. Vehicle driving is one of the most complex tasks required of humans. A majority of vestibular-impaired patients report that driving is difficult or dangerous. Successful completion of this project will contribute to the development of assessment techniques for determining fitness for driving duty. Specifically, the rover simulation utilizes a multiple degree-of-freedom motion base simulator to address aspects of vehicular control performance, including perspective taking, navigating a course safely, and fine positioning control. This approach can be easily adapted to a wide variety of simulated vehicle designs to provide similar assessments in other operational and civilian populations.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2014 
Task Progress: ISS Flight Study

Our flight study utilizes repeated measures pre- versus post-flight design on eight ISS astronauts, where each subject will serve as their own control. This past year postflight data collection was completed on the first two subjects. Preflight data was also completed on three additional subjects. Based on the results of the informed crew briefings, additional subjects are targeted for 38S and 39S landings. Based on the direct return of our 39S subject to the European Astronaut Center, this subject will be removed from the experiment. The final subject is targeted for 41S landing in May 2015.

Ground control studies

1. Effects of learning across sessions: The data collection for this ground study was completed during FY12 to establish that adequate skill proficiency could be attained within the planned four preflight sessions. Twenty healthy subjects were tested in 5 sessions, with 1-3 days between sessions. This study also served as a normative data set to establish the reliability of the rover analysis methods. During the past year, the analysis methods were refined and results presented at the HRP investigator workshop (Pereira et al., 2013). In particular, new accuracy measures added included cumulative distance to target for both navigation and docking tasks, and misalignment was added for the docking task. In addition, an efficiency metric was added which factors both path length traveled and time.

Learning was observed across the 4 sessions, particularly in time to completion for each task. As expected, there was no improvement in perspective taking accuracy due to the absence of visual feedback. Improvements in navigation efficiency were observed as indicated by the reduction in cumulative distance and the increase in calculated efficiency. Docking misalignment improved between the first and second sessions. A slight increase in misalignment during the last 2 sessions may be attributed to subjects placing more emphasis in completing the task faster, as shown by the improved times. Skill acquisition and performance were correlated with self-ratings of previous gaming experience.

2. Changes in operator proficiency during galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS): Our main hypothesis is that adaptive change in how inertial cues from the vestibular system are integrated with other sensory information leads to perceptual disturbances and impaired manual control during transition to a new gravity environment. As a factor of influence study, this past year we measured performance during the rover simulation in 11 subjects with and without GVS. GVS has been utilized extensively by Dr. Moore’s laboratory as a sensorimotor spaceflight analog to assess the effects of disrupting vestibular function on posturography, locomotion, manual control, and cognitive function.

Each subject performed four different trials with GVS, and the same four trials without GVS, for a total of eight trials each. The presentation order was counterbalanced across subjects. The presence of GVS increased the variability of responses for all three subtasks – perspective taking, navigation and docking. Some subjects were more affected than others. Since the rover simulation provides significant visual feedback, these results suggest that some subjects may be utilizing visual feedback more effectively to compensate for the vestibular disturbance caused by GVS. Therefore, we added a second session in which subjects were asked to perform both subjective vertical tasks and closed-loop nulling with and without GVS with both visual feedback and in the dark. The analysis of this second session is ongoing.

3. Changes in operator proficiency as a function of session recency: For the flight study, some changes in proficiency would be expected as a function of time (6 months) between pre- and post-flight sessions. For example, T38 pilots are required to be recertified by a flight instructor when they have not flown for a period of 45 days. Our third ground control studies will examine the changes in operator proficiency following a 7-month gap between their 4th and 5th sessions. This data collection will be initiated during this next fiscal year.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 08/02/2020)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Pereira MA, Dean SL, MacDougall HG, Moore ST, Wood SJ. "Improvements in performance during multiple sessions in a rover simulation." Presented at the 2013 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-14, 2013.

2013 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-14, 2013. , Feb-2013

Project Title:  Effect of Sensorimotor Adaptation Following Long-Duration Spaceflight on Perception and Control of Vehicular Motion Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2013 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 10/01/2009  
End Date: 02/29/2016  
Task Last Updated: 08/05/2012 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Wood, Scott J. Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  2101 NASA Parkway 
Mail code SD2 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: scott.j.wood@nasa.gov 
Phone: (281) 483-6329  
Congressional District: 36 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments: NOTE: PI returned to NASA JSC in January 2017. PI was at Azusa Pacific University from August 2013 – January 2017; prior to August 2013, PI was at NASA JSC. 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: None
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Internal Project 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Loerch, Linda  
Center Contact:  
linda.loerch-1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation: 2008 Crew Health NNJ08ZSA002N 
Grant/Contract No.: Internal Project 
Project Type: FLIGHT 
Flight Program: ISS 
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) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sensorimotor (SM):Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft, Associated Systems and Immediate Vehicle Egress Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Space Flight
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SM2.1:Determine the changes in sensorimotor function over the course of a mission and during recovery after landing (IRP Rev F)
(2) SM6.1:Determine if sensorimotor dysfunction during and after long-duration spaceflight affects ability to control spacecraft and associated systems (IRP Rev F)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: ISS Increments 33-34, 35-36, and 37-38 (pending in September 2012)--per PI (Ed., 8/7/2012)

NOTE: End date is now 2/29/2016 per HRP Master Task List dated 7/12/2011 (Ed., 8/4/2011)

Task Description: The central nervous system must resolve new patterns of sensory cues during movement in a novel gravitoinertial environment in order to maintain accurate spatial orientation awareness. We hypothesize that adaptive change in how inertial cues from the vestibular system are integrated with other sensory information leads to perceptual disturbances and impaired manual control during transition to a new gravity environment. The primary goals of this investigation are to quantify post-flight decrements in manual control performance during a rover simulation (both acute and recovery), and to examine the relationship between manual control errors and adaptive changes in sensorimotor function and motion perception. Eight crewmembers returning from 6 month stays onboard the International Space Station (ISS) will be tested on a six degree-of-freedom motion simulator during four pre-flight and three post-flight sessions on R+1, 4 and 8 days following landing. Ground control studies on non-astronauts will assess effects associated with learning across multiple sessions, changes in proficiency as a function of time between pre- and post-flight sessions and changes in performance during galvanic vestibular stimulation.

This rover simulation study has been incorporated within the manual control study titled “Assessment of operator proficiency following long-duration spaceflight” under the direction of principal investigator Dr. Steven Moore. Dr. Moore’s project includes a test battery to assess sensorimotor and cognitive function, including vestibular (pitch/roll tilt motion perception), visual acuity, manual dexterity, manual tracking with and without dual tasking, reaction time, sleepiness scale, perspective taking and spatial memory (match-to-sample). Dr. Moore’s experiment also includes driving and flying simulations. According to our hypothesis, we predict that decrements in sensorimotor and cognitive function will correlate with performance metrics during the operator simulations. The simulator utilizes a Stewart-type motion base (CKAS, Australia), single-seat cabin with triple scene projection covering 150° horizontal by 50° vertical, and joystick controller. The rover simulation consists of serial presentation of discrete docking tasks that the crewmember attempts to complete within a scheduled 10 min block. Each task consists of 1) perspective-taking, using a map that defines the rover orientation and location relative to the docking target, 2) navigation toward the target around a Martian outpost as efficiently as possible, and 3) docking a side hatch of the rover to another rover or habitat hatch using a visually guided targeting system. The primary dependent variables obtained from each component include time to completion and accuracy. At the completion of each task, a new perspective map will appear to initiate the next task in the series. The number of tasks the crewmember can complete during the 10 min time block will determine the overall operator proficiency.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Sensorimotor function is critical for spatial orientation, gaze stabilization, and postural stability. This project examines how adaptive changes in sensorimotor and cognitive function may increase the risk of impaired ability to maintain control of vehicles and other complex systems. The goal is to map changes in physiological function with functional measures of manual control. Establishing these relationships will be relevant to how pathophysiological impairments in sensorimotor processing may affect other vehicular control tasks, such as driving with vestibular patients. Vehicle driving is one of the most complex tasks required of humans. A majority of vestibular-impaired patients report that driving is difficult or dangerous. Successful completion of this project will contribute to the development of assessment techniques for determining fitness for driving duty. Specifically, the rover simulation utilizes a multiple degree-of-freedom motion base simulator to address aspects of vehicular control performance, including perspective taking, navigating a course safely, and fine positioning control. This approach can be easily adapted to a wide variety of simulated vehicle designs to provide similar assessments in other operational and civilian populations.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2013 
Task Progress: ISS Flight Study

Our flight study utilizes repeated measures pre- versus post-flight design, where each subject will serve as their own control. The flight manual control study was presented during this reporting year to Increments 33-34, 35-36, and 37-38 (pending in September). Four ISS crewmembers to date have agreed to participate in the study. Preflight data collection for the first two crewmembers was completed, with the first postflight data collection planned for Expedition 34 in the late March 2013 timeframe.

Ground control studies

1. Effects of learning across sessions

Postflight performance will be influenced in part by the level of skill proficiency crewmembers attain during preflight baseline testing. Given the novel nature of the rover simulation task, it was important to establish that adequate skill proficiency could be attained within the planned 4 preflight sessions. Another objective of this study was designed to investigate the effects of varying the simulation scenarios across sessions.

Twenty healthy subjects were tested in 5 sessions, with 1-3 days between sessions. Each session consisted of a serial presentation of 8 discrete rover tasks to be completed as quickly and accurately as possible. Each task consisted of 1) perspective-taking, using a map that defined a docking target, 2) navigation toward the target around a Martian outpost, and 3) docking a side hatch of the rover to a visually guided target. Subjects were randomly assigned to either a control group (tasks identical in the first 4 sessions) or a varied-practice group. The dependent variables for each task included accuracy toward the target and time to completion.

The greatest change in time to completion occurred during the docking phase. There was no significant difference between 4th and 5th sessions, suggesting that learning effects would be complete by the end of the preflight baseline period. There were no significant differences between the control and variable practice groups.

Both perspective-taking accuracy and navigation path length varied most by specific task selection. There was a consistent difference in all time measures across sessions between those with at least moderate prior gaming experience and those without. Based on this control study, the same four rover tasks will be used throughout the flight study.

2. Changes in operator proficiency as a function of session recency

For the flight study, some changes in proficiency would be expected as a function of time (6 months) between pre- and post-flight sessions. For example, T38 pilots are required to be recertified by a flight instructor when they have not flown for a period of 45 days. One of our ground control studies will examine the changes in operator proficiency following a 6 month gap in their 4th and 5th sessions. This data collection will be initiated during this next fiscal year.

3. Changes in operator proficiency during galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS)

Our main hypothesis is that adaptive change in how inertial cues from the vestibular system are integrated with other sensory information leads to perceptual disturbances and impaired manual control during transition to a new gravity environment. As a factor of influence study, we propose to measure performance during the rover simulation in 10 subjects with and without GVS. GVS has been utilized extensively by Dr. Moore’s laboratory as a sensorimotor spaceflight analog to assess the effects of disrupting vestibular function on posturography, locomotion, manual control and cognitive function. The rover GVS study will be initiated during this reporting period and completed in early FY13.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 08/02/2020)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Wood SJ, Dean SL, De Dios YE, MacDougall HG, Moore ST. "Assessment of proficiency during simulated rover operations following long-duration spaceflight." 2012 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Houston, TX, February 14-16, 2012.

2012 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Houston, TX, February 14-16, 2012. , Feb-2012

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Dean SL, De Dios YE, Moore ST, MacDougall HG, Wood SJ. "Acquisition of skill proficiency over multiple sessions of a novel rover simulation." Presented at the 83rd Annual Scientific Meeting, Aerospace Medical Association, Atlanta, GA, May 13-17, 2012.

Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 2012 Mar;83(3):229. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/asma/asem/2012/00000083/00000003/art00006 , Mar-2012

Project Title:  Effect of Sensorimotor Adaptation Following Long-Duration Spaceflight on Perception and Control of Vehicular Motion Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2012 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 10/01/2009  
End Date: 02/29/2016  
Task Last Updated: 08/07/2011 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Wood, Scott J. Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  2101 NASA Parkway 
Mail code SD2 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: scott.j.wood@nasa.gov 
Phone: (281) 483-6329  
Congressional District: 36 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments: NOTE: PI returned to NASA JSC in January 2017. PI was at Azusa Pacific University from August 2013 – January 2017; prior to August 2013, PI was at NASA JSC. 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: August 2010. The rover simulation was Specific Aim 4 of the submitted proposal. Since the original Specific Aims 1-3 of this study were removed from this investigation, the investigator team members on Dr. Wood’s proposal assigned to those aims are not participating in the revised integrated study with Dr. Moore.
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Internal Project 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Baumann, David  
Center Contact:  
david.k.baumann@nasa.gov 
Solicitation: 2008 Crew Health NNJ08ZSA002N 
Grant/Contract No.: Internal Project 
Project Type: FLIGHT 
Flight Program: ISS 
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) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sensorimotor (SM):Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft, Associated Systems and Immediate Vehicle Egress Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Space Flight
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SM2.1:Determine the changes in sensorimotor function over the course of a mission and during recovery after landing (IRP Rev F)
(2) SM6.1:Determine if sensorimotor dysfunction during and after long-duration spaceflight affects ability to control spacecraft and associated systems (IRP Rev F)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date is now 2/29/2016 per HRP Master Task List dated 7/12/2011 (Ed., 8/4/2011)

Task Description: The central nervous system must resolve new patterns of sensory cues during movement in a novel gravitoinertial environment in order to maintain accurate spatial orientation awareness. We hypothesize that adaptive change in how inertial cues from the vestibular system are integrated with other sensory information leads to perceptual disturbances and impaired manual control during transition to a new gravity environment. The primary goals of this investigation are to quantify post-flight decrements in manual control performance during a rover simulation (both acute and recovery), and to examine the relationship between manual control errors and adaptive changes in sensorimotor function and motion perception. Eight crewmembers returning from 6 month stays onboard the International Space Station (ISS) will be tested on a six degree-of-freedom motion simulator during four pre-flight and three post-flight sessions on R+1, 4 and 8 days following landing.

This rover simulation study has been incorporated into another post-flight manual control study titled “Assessment of operator proficiency following long-duration spaceflight” under the direction of principal investigator Dr. Steven Moore. Dr. Moore’s project includes a test battery to assess sensorimotor and cognitive function, including vestibular (head stabilization, pitch/roll vestibulo-ocular reflex, tilt motion perception), oculomotor (smooth pursuit, optokinetic nystagmus, dynamic visual acuity), manual dexterity, manual tracking, perspective taking, emergency response, sleepiness and fatigue. According to our hypothesis, we predict that decrements in sensorimotor function will be correlated with performance during the rover simulation.

The rover simulation consists of serial presentation of discrete tasks that the crewmember attempts to complete within a scheduled 10 min block. The tasks are based on navigating around a Martian outpost that consists of a landing area, habitation area, power generator, science area and radio telescope spread over a 970 m2 terrain. Each task is subdivided into three components: (1) presentation of a perspective map detailing the current location of the rover and the location of the task to be performed; (2) navigation of the rover to the desired location as quickly as possible while avoiding obstacles, and (3) fine control of the rover to dock with another object. Metrics obtained from each component include time to completion and accuracy. At the completion of each task, a new perspective map will appear to initiate the next task in the series. The number of tasks the crewmember can complete during the 10 min time block will determine the overall operator proficiency. The order of task presentations will vary across sessions to minimize learning effects.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Sensorimotor function is critical for spatial orientation, gaze stabilization, and postural stability. This project examines how adaptive changes in sensorimotor and cognitive function may increase the risk of impaired ability to maintain control of vehicles and other complex systems. The goal is to map changes in physiological function with functional measures of manual control. Establishing these relationships will be relevant to how pathophysiological impairments in sensorimotor processing may affect other vehicular control tasks, such as driving with vestibular patients. Vehicle driving is one of the most complex tasks required of humans. A majority of vestibular-impaired patients report that driving is difficult or dangerous. Successful completion of this project will contribute to the development of assessment techniques to be used when determining fitness for driving duty. Specifically, the rover simulation utilizes a multiple degree-of-freedom motion base simulator to address aspects of vehicular control performance, including perspective taking, navigating a course safely, and fine positioning control. This approach can be easily adapted to a wide variety of simulated vehicle designs to provide similar assessments in other operational and civilian populations.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2012 
Task Progress: Completion of Flight Definition Phase: During this past reporting year, the flight definition phase was completed and the integrated experiment was selected for flight in June 2011. The revisions to the integrated protocol involved a time reduction of the rover simulation from 15 to 10 min per session. The User Readiness Review was conducted to man-rate the Motion Control Simulator in January 2011. At this same time, the Test Readiness Review committee approved science verification man-in-the-loop testing for the rover simulation. A Delta TRR was conducted in May 2011 to approve the additional experiment components for the integrated study with Dr. Moore.

Completion of Equipment Development: An overview of the experiment development status was presented at the 18th Humans in Space Symposium (Wood et al., April 2011). The simulator utilizes a Stewart-type motion base (CKAS, Australia), single seat cabin with triple scene projection covering 150° horizontal by 50° vertical, and joystick controller. This past year Tietronix completed the rover software using Unity3 with next-gen PhysX engine to synchronize simulation and motion platform commands tightly. Separate enhancements made to the C# applications to allow investigators to customize session sequences with different lighting and gravitational conditions, and then execute tasks to be performed as well as record performance data. The technical development of an operational simulation to assess how sensorimotor and cognitive function impact manual control performance will be presented at the 3rd International Symposium on Visual Image Safety (De Dios et al., September 2011).

Normative data collection: Our flight study utilizes repeated measures pre- versus post-flight design, where each subject will serve as their own control. In order to determine learning effects resulting from our repeated measures, our initial control study is tracking performance in 20 control subjects across 5 test sessions separated by 2-4 days each. Five sequences of 8 tasks have been developed. One half of the control group will receive novel sequences during each session. The second half will receive the same sequence over the first four sessions, and then a novel sequence during the final session. The first and last sequence for both groups is identical, and will be compared to establish the effect of variable practice as well as establish the learning effects for each dependent variable. We predict that some measures, such as docking time, will show more learning effects that other variables. A description of each subtask is described below along with preliminary data for the first 7 subjects combined. Later reports will separate out performance for the variable and same sequence groups.

(1) Perspective taking: Each of the docking tasks in a session begins with presentation of a map detailing the current location of the rover and the location of the docking task to be performed. Subjects point the joystick in the direction of the target from the perspective of the rover cockpit as fast and accurately as possible. This is similar to the perspective taking test in the Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS) that is part of Dr. Moore’s protocol. However, one important difference is that subjects must then use this information from the map to navigate toward the target during the next subtask. Therefore, the longer reaction times in our simulation reflect the additional time that subjects use to study their initial and final locations before starting the navigation task. As described above, the primary dependent measures of the perspective taking are the reaction time to complete the task, and the accuracy of their joystick response. Another difference between this task the TBAS perspective taking task is that our accuracy is in resolution of degrees while the TBAS version has subjects use keypad arrows to indicate one of four directions. Our preliminary data show a clear trend in perspective taking accuracy over the first four sessions, with no significant change in reaction time. Thus, we anticipate achieving a stable preflight baseline by the final (fourth) preflight data collection.

(2) Path navigation: Once the perspective taking phase is complete, the subject is brought into the virtual scene in the same location and orientation as presented by the preceding map. The subject must then use the hand controller to navigate the rover to the desired location as quickly as possible while avoiding obstacles. If needed, the subject can recall the map at any time to display the current rover location relative to the docking target. Two metrics from the navigation phase are the time to move within the docking location boundary and total path length. If subjects do not reach the target boundary within two minutes, the task “times out” and they are automatically forwarded to the docking phase. Based on preliminary data to date, there are no consistent learning trends for the navigation time. A trend for the path length to increase may be attributed to the fact that subjects are more consistently reaching the docking boundary, i.e., traveling more efficiently and therefore farther in later sessions. However, path length does not currently factor the distance away from the docking boundary if the subject times out after 2 min. Revisions to the analysis are underway to add parameters that factor both distance and time to the docking boundary.

(3) Docking: Once within the docking boundary, the subject must dock a side hatch of the rover to a visually guided target. Each target has a specific orientation that is defined by a projection of a cone on the ground in front of it. As the subject brings one of the side hatches within closer proximity to the docking target, crosshairs are displayed on the side camera view to be used in aligning the hatch with the docking target. Subjects are allowed 60 sec to complete this task. There is clear trend in time to dock decreasing over the first four sessions, with no significant change in docking accuracy. (4) Other measures: At the completion of each task, subjects provide subjective comments and report any motion sickness symptoms. Preliminary tests resulted in low incidence of symptoms (<15% unable to complete first session), with only negligible after effects after the initial session. During the flight study, overall operator proficiency will also be based on how many tasks the crewmember can complete during the 10 min time block.

Near term plans: The first opportunity for pre- and post-flight data collection will be Expedition 33/34 with pre-flight data collection commencing in the summer 2012 timeframe. Following the current study examining learning effects, additional factors of influence ground studies are planned. One study will examine the influence of vestibular impairment on operator proficiency with the rover simulation using Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS). A second study will examine the influence of fatigue on operator performance. When astronaut data has begun, another ground control study will utilize age and gender matched control subjects that will be tested using the same test session timing and sequence.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 08/02/2020)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Wood SJ, Dean SL, De Dios YE, MacDougall HG, Moore ST. "Assessment of spatial navigation and docking performance during simulated rover tasks." Presented at the 18th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, Houston TX, April 11-15, 2011.

18th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, Houston TX, April 11-15, 2011. , Apr-2011

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings De Dios YE, Dean SL, Davis N, Rosenthal J, MacDougall HG, Moore ST, Wood SJ. "Development of a rover simulation to assess operational proficiency following long duration spaceflights." To be presented at the 3rd International Symposium on Visual Image Safety, Las Vegas NV, September 22-23, 2011.

3rd International Symposium on Visual Image Safety, Las Vegas NV, September 22-23, 2011. http://www.vims2011.org/index/pdf/DeDios.pdf , Sep-2011

Project Title:  Effect of Sensorimotor Adaptation Following Long-Duration Spaceflight on Perception and Control of Vehicular Motion Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2011 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 10/01/2009  
End Date: 02/29/2016  
Task Last Updated: 07/31/2010 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Wood, Scott J. Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  2101 NASA Parkway 
Mail code SD2 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: scott.j.wood@nasa.gov 
Phone: (281) 483-6329  
Congressional District: 36 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments: NOTE: PI returned to NASA JSC in January 2017. PI was at Azusa Pacific University from August 2013 – January 2017; prior to August 2013, PI was at NASA JSC. 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: August 2010. The rover simulation was Specific Aim 4 of the submitted proposal. Since the original Specific Aims 1-3 of this study were removed from this investigation, the investigator team members on Dr. Wood’s proposal assigned to those aims are not participating in the revised integrated study with Dr. Moore.
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Internal Project 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Goodwin, Thomas  
Center Contact:  
thomas.j.goodwin@nasa.gov 
Solicitation: 2008 Crew Health NNJ08ZSA002N 
Grant/Contract No.: Internal Project 
Project Type: FLIGHT 
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) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sensorimotor (SM):Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft, Associated Systems and Immediate Vehicle Egress Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Space Flight
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SM2.1:Determine the changes in sensorimotor function over the course of a mission and during recovery after landing (IRP Rev F)
(2) SM6.1:Determine if sensorimotor dysfunction during and after long-duration spaceflight affects ability to control spacecraft and associated systems (IRP Rev F)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date is now 2/29/2016 per HRP Master Task List dated 7/12/2011 (Ed., 8/4/2011)

Task Description: The central nervous system must resolve new patterns of sensory cues during movement in a novel gravitoinertial environment in order to maintain accurate spatial orientation awareness. We hypothesize that adaptive change in how inertial cues from the vestibular system are integrated with other sensory information leads to perceptual disturbances and impaired manual control during transition to a new gravity environment. The primary goals of this investigation are to quantify post-flight decrements in manual control performance during a rover simulation (both acute and recovery), and to examine the relationship between manual control errors and adaptive changes in sensorimotor function and motion perception. Eight crewmembers returning from 6 month stays onboard the International Space Station (ISS) will be tested on a six degree-of-freedom motion simulator during four pre-flight and three post-flight sessions on R+1, 4 and 8 days following landing.

This rover simulation study has been incorporated into another post-flight manual control study titled “Assessment of operator proficiency following long-duration spaceflight” under the direction of principal investigator Dr. Steven Moore. Dr. Moore’s project includes a test battery to assess sensorimotor and cognitive function, including: vestibular (head stabilization, pitch/roll vestibulo-ocular reflex, tilt motion perception), oculomotor (smooth pursuit, optokinetic nystagmus, dynamic visual acuity), manual dexterity, manual tracking, perspective taking, emergency response, sleepiness and fatigue. According to our hypothesis, we predict that decrements in sensorimotor function will be correlated with performance during the rover simulation.

The rover simulation consists of serial presentation of discrete tasks that the crewmember attempts to complete within a scheduled 10 min block. The tasks are based on navigating around a Martian outpost that consists of a landing area, habitation area, power generator, science area and radio telescope spread over a 970 m2 terrain. Each task is subdivided into three components: (1) presentation of a perspective map detailing the current location of the rover and the location of the task to be performed; (2) navigation of the rover to the desired location as quickly as possible while avoiding obstacles, and (3) fine control of the rover to dock with another object or align a camera view. Metrics will be obtained from each component, e.g., time to orient rover in the desired direction, path deviation and time to move within a target location boundary, and control alignment error in the docking - positioning phase. At the completion of each task, a new perspective map will appear to initiate the next task in the series. Overall operator proficiency will be based on how many tasks the crewmember can complete during the 10 min time block. The order of task presentations will vary across sessions to minimize learning effects.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Sensorimotor function is critical for spatial orientation, gaze stabilization, and postural stability. This project examines how adaptive changes in sensorimotor and cognitive function may increase the risk of impaired ability to maintain control of vehicles and other complex systems. The goal is to map changes in physiological function with functional measures of manual control. Establishing these relationships will be relevant to how pathophysiological impairments in sensorimotor processing may affect other vehicular control tasks, such as driving with vestibular patients. Vehicle driving is one of the most complex tasks required of humans. A majority of vestibular-impaired patients report that driving is difficult or dangerous. Successful completion of this project will contribute to the development of assessment techniques to be used when determining fitness for driving duty. Specifically, the rover simulation utilizes a multiple degree-of-freedom motion base simulator to address aspects of vehicular control performance, including perspective taking, navigating a course safely, and fine positioning control. This approach can be easily adapted to a wide variety of simulated vehicle designs to provide similar assessments in other operational and civilian populations.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2011 
Task Progress: During this first project year, the motion base and cabin were assembled to support the rover simulation, and the rover simulation software was developed by Tietronix.

Motion simulator: The motion base is a Stewart type (V7, CKAS, Melbourne, Australia), which has six independently electric actuators legs to position and orient the platform. The V7 has a footprint of 2.1 x 2 m, and carries a payload of up to 650kg. The washout software accepts User Datagram Protocol (UDP) text packets from any simulation software, providing an ‘open-source’ full-motion simulator. A rigid platform (~2.2 m diameter, 57 mm thickness) was bolted to the V7 motion base. A professional racing seat with a 4-point safety harness (Corbeau A4, Sandy, UT) was mounted and can accommodate a detachable custom head restraint. The joystick chosen was based on the current electric rover design and provides the same degrees of freedom for rover motion. A modified polyethylene tank (2.2 m diameter x 1.65 m high x 6 mm thick; Norwesco) is mounted to the plywood base, and three DLP projectors (Benq 515ST) were mounted to roof of the cabin to project images onto lightweight foam core boards mounted to the cabin wall with wooden battens.

Rover simulation: The rover simulation is based on the current electric rover design concepts and early mission scenarios for a Martian outpost. The development of the primary rover simulation was completed in collaboration with Tietronix, with refinements anticipated during science verification testing. The rover simulation consists of serial presentation of discrete tasks that the crewmember attempts to complete within a scheduled 10 min block. The tasks are based on navigating around a Martian outpost that consists of a landing area, habitation area, power generator, science area and radio telescope spread over a 970 m^2 terrain. Each task is subdivided into three components:

(1) Perspective map detailing the current location of the rover and the location of the task to be performed. This map will be replaced by the simulated Martian landscape when the subject moves the joystick to initiate rover motion. The primary metric from this phase will be the time required to orient the rover in the correct direction. This task is intended to be a functional equivalent of the perspective taking test included in Dr. Moore’s test battery.

(2) Navigation of the rover to the desired location as quickly as possible while avoiding obstacles. The main metrics from this phase will be RMS error from the desired path, total pathlength, and the time to move within the target location boundary.

(3) Fine position control of the rover to dock with another object or align a camera view. The primary metric of this phase will be the RMS control alignment error.

At the completion of each task, a new perspective map will appear to initiate the next task in the series. Overall operator proficiency will be based on how many tasks the crewmember can complete during the 10 min time block. The order of task presentations will vary across sessions to minimize learning effects.

Near term plans: The JSC Science Management review and target ISS manifest for informed crew briefings is currently on hold for this study. Following the Test Readiness Review of the motion simulation hardware, a preliminary study is planned to examine the effects of variable practice on the rover simulation tasks.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 08/02/2020)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2011
Project Title:  Effect of Sensorimotor Adaptation Following Long-Duration Spaceflight on Perception and Control of Vehicular Motion Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2010 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 10/01/2009  
End Date: 09/30/2012  
Task Last Updated: 07/24/2009 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Wood, Scott J. Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  2101 NASA Parkway 
Mail code SD2 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: scott.j.wood@nasa.gov 
Phone: (281) 483-6329  
Congressional District: 36 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments: NOTE: PI returned to NASA JSC in January 2017. PI was at Azusa Pacific University from August 2013 – January 2017; prior to August 2013, PI was at NASA JSC. 
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Harm, Deborah  NASA Johnson Space Center 
Clement, Gilles  USTI 
Oman, Charles  Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Reschke, Millard  NASA Johnson Space Center 
Young, Laurence  Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Merfeld, Daniel  Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary 
Burbank, Daniel  NASA Johnson Space Center 
Robinson, Stephen  NASA Johnson Space Center 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Internal Project 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Meck, J@n  
Center Contact: 281-244-5405 
janice.v.meck@nasa.gov 
Solicitation: 2008 Crew Health NNJ08ZSA002N 
Grant/Contract No.: Internal Project 
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) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sensorimotor (SM):Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft, Associated Systems and Immediate Vehicle Egress Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Space Flight
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SM2.1:Determine the changes in sensorimotor function over the course of a mission and during recovery after landing (IRP Rev F)
(2) SM6.1:Determine if sensorimotor dysfunction during and after long-duration spaceflight affects ability to control spacecraft and associated systems (IRP Rev F)
Task Description: This investigation addresses the question of how sensorimotor adaptation following long duration spaceflight contributes to impaired ability to navigate and land the crew exploration vehicle or operate other equipment on the surface of Mars following the 6 months of microgravity travel time. We hypothesize that adaptive changes in how inertial cues from the vestibular system are integrated with other sensory information leads to perceptual disturbances and impaired manual control during transition to a new gravity environment. The first aim is to quantify control performance using functionally relevant tasks on a multi-axis motion simulator. The second aim is to examine the relationship between motion perception measures and manual control performance. We predict that greater perceptual errors will correspond with greater decrements in manual performance. The third aim is to develop mathematical models that can assess the operational implications for spatial disorientation and impaired sensorimotor control on landing tasks during future exploration class missions. The fourth aim is to quantify the time course of recovery of manual control performance through the initial week following long-duration flights. The information gained on recovery time constants will help determine if sensorimotor countermeasures for early Mars operations will be needed, and will have implications for return to duty decisions (e.g., driving) following return to Earth. Results from this study will be used to recommend what landing aids (e.g., enhanced visual displays) will be most effective as a countermeasure for impaired manual performance.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: 0

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2010 
Task Progress: New project for FY2010.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 08/02/2020)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2010