Study of the Typological Characteristics of ISS Crew Operator Activity During Long-term Space Flight (Tipologia (Typology)) (Tipologia (Typology)) - 05.09.18

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Study of the Typological Characteristics of ISS Crew Operator Activity During Long-term Space Flight (Tipologia (Typology)) identifies behavioral characteristics in the actions of crew members, which could be used to determine the current psychological state, to predict future states, and to modify the performance quality of skill tasks undertaken in spaceflight conditions. The experiment aims to reveal the individual traits of the crew member’s operational activity and to evaluate the forecasting capabilities of indicators, using the computer games Sapior (Sapper) and Tetris as models of skill activity.
Science Results for Everyone
Space flight is a head rush. On the ground, crew members exhibit a high level of professional skill, able to perform logical and spatial tasks and to develop adaptive biological control skills. In space, however, microgravity causes a rush of blood to the head, and this investigation found that all subjects begin to struggle with difficult activities and problems, especially ones requiring logic. Researchers sought to identify objective factors that could be used to predict and correct the quality of performance in space. Regardless of performance during flight, most subjects were able to successfully solve problems once back on the ground. 

The following content was provided by A. A. Antonov, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
A. A. Antonov, Institute of Medical and Biological Problems of Russian Academy of Sciences (IMBP RAS), Russia

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Sponsoring Space Agency
Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos)

Sponsoring Organization
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Research Benefits
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ISS Expedition Duration
September 2010 - March 2013

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
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Experiment Description

Research Overview
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Space Applications
The results of this experiment are connected to the development of new methods and tools used to increase the reliability of the operator’s performance and decrease the risk of incorrect actions when solving skill problems. The experiment provides information necessary for gaining insight into such fundamental issues as the connection of the brain’s electrical phenomenon and the behavioral act, the formation of readiness for skill activity, and understanding the mechanisms responsible for changing response quality while under the effect of spaceflight including weightlessness. It is possible that the results serve as a foundation for developing new methods for operational skill assessment, future predictions and improvement of crew members’ skill performance, during flight.

Earth Applications
Tipologia uses a new (for space medicine) strategy of breaking down the test subject’s activity into statistical probability and predetermined. This new division is based on the neuropsychological approach to the functional role of different areas of the cerebral cortex. It should be noted that this approach is supported by multiple clinical and experimental observations and histological studies.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols
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Decadal Survey Recommendations

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Results/More Information

Russian crew participants demonstrated a high level of professional skill training when performing logical and spatial types of tasks, as well as adaptive biological control. During preflight training, all subjects are able to successfully develop adaptive biological control skills and learned to control their readiness skill when solving logical and spatial problems. When solving spatial problems, the ABC effect was observed mostly starting from the third training session. This was confirmed by the increase of the productivity indicators. When solving logical problems, the ABC effect was observed starting from the third or fourth training session. By the last training session, the ABC skill, when solving logical and spatial problems, had been developed in all cosmonauts.

However, in spaceflight conditions, adaptive skill suffered in all subjects: the ABC effect was not observed in the type of activity, which is difficult for the cosmonaut because of his particular behavioral characteristics. The logical activity proved more difficult for most cosmonauts. Only one subject was able to reproduce the ABC skill he had developed earlier when solving logical problems in spaceflight conditions. It should also be mentioned that during postflight analysis, the ABC skill, when solving spatial and logical problems, was expressed distinctly in almost all of the subjects, regardless of how it was affected during spaceflight.

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Results Publications

    Antonov AA, Ershova TA.  Preservation of the ABC skill when controlling the process of synchronizing the bioelectrical activity of the human cerebral cortex in an argon-nitrogen-oxygen environment with various concentrations of oxygen. Aviakosmicheskaia i Ekologicheskaia Meditsina (Aerospace and Environmental Medicine). 2009; 43(5): 27-31.

    Savchenko VV.  Feedback mechanisms when supporting the operator’s functionality in the "human-machine” system, when in a state of readiness to perform experimental activity . Zhurnal Sistemnyi Analiz i Upravleniye s Biomeditzinskikh Sistemakh (System Analysis and Control in Biomedical Systems). 2005; 5(4): 477-481.

    Antonov AA, Ershova TA.  Effect of adaptive biological control session on the indicators of modeled activity in the experiment Mars – 105. Aviakosmicheskaia i Ekologicheskaia Meditsina (Aerospace and Environmental Medicine). 2010; 44(4): 17-23.

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

    Semionovich AV.  Neuro-psychological analysis of failure in school among mass schools. Zhurnal Vyshei Nervnoi Deyatelnosti (Journal of High Neurological Activity). 1992(4).

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Related Websites
Energia - Science Research on the ISS Russian Segment

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image NASA Image: ISS030E009565 - Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, Expedition 30 flight engineer, prepares for a session with the Russian behavioral assessment TIPOLOGIA (MBI-20) in the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station.
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