The Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the International Space Station (Reaction Self Test) is a portable 5-minute reaction time task that will allow the crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on board the International Space Station (ISS).Principal Investigator(s)
Johnson Space Center, Human Research Program, Houston, TX, United States
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Sponsoring Organization
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)ISS Expedition Duration:
October 2009 - March 2014
21/22,23/24,25/26,27/28,29/30,31/32,33/34,35/36,37/38Previous ISS Missions
This test has been previously performed during the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operation (NEEMO) missions 9, 12 and 13.
The Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the International Space Station (Reaction Self Test) provides crewmembers with objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in vigilant attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions. The Reaction Self Test is ideal for repeated use in space flight because unlike other cognitive tests, it is very brief while being free of learning effects and aptitude differences that make interpretation of other cognitive measures difficult. The Reaction Self Test was successfully deployed in three NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operation (NEEMO) missions (9, 12 and 13) and found to be acceptable by the 12 astronauts, whose data provided a normative database for development of a feedback interface for the Reaction Self Test to alert crewmembers to their performance level. These data support the readiness of the Reaction Self Test for deployment and study on board the ISS.
The following are the specific aims of the project:
The Reaction Self Test aids crewmembers to objectively identify when their performance capability is degraded by various fatigue-related conditions that can occur as a result of ISS operations and time in space. The project addresses a number of high-priority NASA Behavioral Health and Performance (BHP) research gaps including; (1) identification of the best measure for assessing decrements in cognitive function due to fatigue and other aspects of spaceflight; (2) determination of an individual crewmember’s vulnerability to sleep loss; (3) establishment of cognition decline or change during long-duration missions (LDM); and (4) facilitation of ways for crewmembers and ground support to detect and compensate for decreased cognitive readiness to perform in space.Earth Applications
The PI developed the original 10-minute Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT), which the Reaction Self Test was derived from, to measure changes in psychomotor speed, lapses of attention, wake state instability, and impulsivity induced by fatigue and other performance-degrading factors commonly found in operational environments. Based on research supported by federal and non-US federal agencies, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, the 10-minute PVT has been extensively validated in laboratory studies, simulators and operational environments to be sensitive to a variety of performance-degrading fatigue-related factors.
A minimum of 24 long-duration ISS crewmembers are needed as subjects for the experiment. The preflight sessions are at launch minus 180 (L-180), L-150, L-120, L-90, L-60, L-30, and L-7 through L-1. The postflight sessions are from R+0 to R+7 and R+30, R+60, and R+90. The inflight session is performed twice a day every fourth day of the mission starting on FD3. In addition to completing the test twice a day every fourth day, crewmembers are requested to complete the Reaction Self Test twice per day on each day of a sleep shift in addition to twice a day three days preceding a sleep shift, and Reaction Self Test twice per day for five days following the sleep shift. Crewmembers are also requested to perform the Reaction Self Test twice on the day preceding an EVA, and once immediately after the EVA and all its related activities have been completed.Operational Protocols
During flight, it is imperative that the Reaction Self Test be completed regularly through the entire mission. The Reaction Self Test uses the HRF laptop or Station Support Computer (SSC) and takes about five minutes to complete. It includes pre-test questions, the reaction time test and feedback displays on the computer. The crewmember is requested to complete the Reaction Self Test twice a day every fourth day of the mission. In addition to completing the test twice a day every fourth day, crewmembers are requested to complete the Reaction Self Test twice per day on each day of a sleep shift in addition to twice a day three days preceding a sleep shift, and Reaction Self Test twice per day for five days following the sleep shift. Crewmembers are also requested to perform the Reaction Self Test twice on the day preceding an EVA, and once immediately after the EVA and all its related activities have been completed.