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ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
In order to precisely control their body movements using voluntary muscles, astronauts’ brains must adapt to the disorienting effects of the microgravity environment of space. To study these changes in cognitive function, it is often necessary to use an immersive, virtual-reality environment to master the visual information received by the subject and quantify her/his reactions. The equipment for the PERSPECTIVES investigation is an adaptive platform for virtual reality (based on commercial equipment) used for conducting neurosciences experiments on board the International Space Station (ISS).
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Joseph McIntyre, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details

OpNom: Perspectives

Principal Investigator(s)
Joseph McIntyre, College de France, Paris, France

Gilles Clément, Ph.D., Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, Lyon, France

Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, Toulouse, France

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
European Space Agency

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
February 2018 - August 2018

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview
The effects of microgravity on humans are not just physical. There is also a change in the neurological system seeking to adapt to its new environment. The lack of "high" and "low", the abolition of standing are all changes which the brain must meet to continue to lead the body with precision. PERSPECTIVES offers a unique opportunity to analyze in detail the changes in cognitive function of astronauts by immersing them in a chosen virtual reality environment.

The device used for PERSPECTIVES is a single stereoscopic obscuring helmet, supported by a dedicated application. Headphones are also used to expand the scope of the field of the virtual reality environment, and are tested as part of the Proxima mission. The main advantage of virtual reality is to control the stimuli sent to the astronaut, but also to quantify the visual-motor response of the subject.

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Space Applications
Living in space requires adaptation from more than just the astronaut’s body. The absence of a traditional up or down requires the brain to adapt to the 3 dimensional world of microgravity. Virtual reality headsets offer a way to understand how an astronaut’s brain adapts to its new environment.

Earth Applications
This investigation will help better understand the workings of the human vestibular system, and how it connects to the other sensory organs. In other words, it will help researchers achieve a better understanding of the physiology behind eye-hand coordination, as well as shedding light on how to best treat the loss of vestibular function for people on Earth.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols

PERSPECTIVES integrates a stand-alone virtual reality platform (computer + virtual reality mask) to cover the needs of various upcoming experiments using virtual reality. PERSPECTIVES requires the use next generation of ISS laptops that are expected to arrive on ISS for use in mid-2016.
Increment 50 Operations:  The commissioning of PERSPECTIVES is enabled with the upload of GRASP-specific equipment. The PERSPECTIVES check-out takes place during the last in-flight session of the GRIP experiment with Expedition 50/51 test subjects.
Increment 51 Operations:  The PERSPECTIVES check-out takes place during the last in-flight session of the GRIP experiment with Expedition 50/51 test subjects.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Information on PERSPECTIVES Hardware from the European Space Agency (ESA)
Additional information from Centre National d'études Spatiales (French)

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Perspectives virtual reality hardware for use on the International Space Station. Image courtesy of CNES.

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