Individualized Real-Time Neurocognitive Assessment Toolkit for Space Flight Fatigue (Cognition) - 11.22.16
Individualized Real-Time Neurocognitive Assessment Toolkit for Space Flight Fatigue (Cognition) is a battery of tests that measure how spaceflight-related physical changes, such as microgravity and lack of sleep, can affect cognitive performance. Cognition includes ten brief computerized tests that cover a wide range of cognitive functions, and provides immediate feedback on current and past test results. The software allows for real-time measurement of cognitive performance while in space. Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending Experiment Details
Mathias Basner, Ph.D., M.D., MSc, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States
David F. Dinges, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States
Ruben Gur, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States
Daniel Mollicone, Ph.D., Pulsar Informatics, Philadelphia, PA, United States
NASA Johnson Space Center, Human Research Program, Houston, TX, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
NASA Research Office - Human Research Program (NASA Research-HRP)
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration
ISS Expedition Duration
September 2014 - March 2016; March 2016 - September 2016
- Given the breadth of neurocognitive functions required for effective performance in space, the need to medically manage sleep and fatigue in space, the very limited neurocognitive assessment tools currently in space flight, and the often anecdotal nature of cognitive complaints from space flight, there is a critical need for rapid objective assessment of a range of neurocognitive performance functions in space flight.
- This project seeks to achieve this goal by developing a much-needed practical, yet comprehensive cognitive test battery; validating its sensitivity to fatigue and fatigue countermeasures; determining astronaut norms for the test battery; and establishing space-flight feasibility of the battery.
- The result will be a software-based Neurocognitive Assessment Toolkit for Spaceflight (Cognition) that permits rapid, real-time measurement of astronaut cognitive performance across a much broader range of neurocognitive functions than can be currently assessed in space.
The Cognition battery is a 20-30 minute computerized test battery of cognitive tests. Besides a sleep questionnaire and brief subjective evaluations at the beginning, Cognition contains the following 10 tests (each test is mentioned with the primary cognitive domains covered):
- Motor Praxis (MPraxis): Sensory-motor ability
- Visual Object Learning (VOLT): Visual object learning and memory
- Fractal 2-Back (F2B): Attention and working memory
- Abstract Matching Task (AMT): Abstraction
- Line Orientation (LOT): Spatial orientation
- Emotion Recognition (ER): Emotion recognition
- Matrix Reasoning (MRsT): Abstract reasoning
- Digit Symbol Substitution (DSST): Complex scanning, visual tracking, attention
- Balloon Analog Risk (BART): Risk decision making
- Psychomotor Vigilance (PVT): Vigilant attention and psychomotor speed.
While living and working in orbit, astronauts must be able to perform complex tasks despite fatigue and stress. Cognition provides a way to test crew members’ cognitive performance by using a battery of tests. The experiment validates the sensitivity of the battery to fatigue and its effectiveness for use in space. Future missions could use Cognition software to measure crew members’ performance more effectively than current tests.
Cognition includes a wide range of computerized cognitive tests, which could be used in a variety of situations on Earth. The tests could determine whether fatigue or other stress factors are compromising a person’s ability to think and act clearly. The tests are brief and can be completed on a computer in virtually any setting.
Operational Requirements and Protocols
Decadal Survey Recommendations
Behavioral and Mental Health B1
Information Pending^ back to top
Neuropsychiatry Section of the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Psychiatry
Unit for Experimental Psychiatry, Division of Sleep and Chronobiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
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