| In spaceflight, crew members are frequently required to do many different critical tasks with associated stress and fatigue factors. The development of embedded performance tests that can be successfully related to performance capability metrics will give the crew member and Mission Control information on the best time to perform critical events and an evaluation of the need for countermeasures.
The purpose of this study is to collect cognitive performance and stress information on astronauts and mission support personnel to:
* identify periods of fatigue and identify stress during analog missions, and
* develop normative databases on fatigue and stress in analog environments for comparison to space flight.
The observational research study will test tools that measure performance and stress in crew members and mission support personnel working and living in simulated space environments under conditions similar to those crew members experience aboard the International Space Station and on Lunar missions. The studies will occur during NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 14 and a Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS) mission.
This project aligns with the following high-priority Risk Gaps of NASA Behavioral Health and Performance within the Human Research Program:
1. Risk of Performance Errors Due to Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, Fatigue, and Work Overload.
2. Risk of Behavioral and Psychiatric Conditions.
1. Test the usefulness of three brief validated software-based cognitive performance tests (PVT SelfTest, Digit Symbol Substitution Test and the Descending Subtraction Test), which will collectively be known as the Penn Neurobehavioral Test Battery. Data will be collected on crew members and mission support personnel.
2. Acquire saliva samples to assay for cortisol levels, as a physiological measure of stress. Salivary cortisol data will be collected on crew members and mission support personnel.
3. Acquire video of the face for assessing feasibility of optical computer recognition using the built in webcam in the laptop used for the cognitive performance tests.