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Mental Representation of Spatial Cues (3D-Space) (ILSRA_2001_088)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Behavior and performance
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

The purpose of the Mental Representation of Spatial Cues During Space Flight (3D-Space) experiment was to investigate the effects of exposure to microgravity on the mental representation of spatial cues by astronauts during and after space flight. The absence of the gravitational frame of reference during space flight may be responsible for disturbances in the mental representation of spatial cues, such as the perception of horizontal and vertical lines, the perception of objects’ depth, and the perception of targets’ distance. This investigation included three perceptual/motor tasks, which were conducted pre-, in- and postflight. One task included writing words horizontally and vertically and drawing geometrical objects using a digitizing tablet. A second task involved adjusting the shape of a geometrical illusion or a three-dimensional object presented in a head-mounted virtual reality display. The third task included estimating the relative or absolute distances between objects and landmarks in three-dimensional images presented in the head-mounted display.

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Clément G, Skinner A, and Lathan C. Distance and Size Perception in Astronauts during Long-Duration Spaceflight. Life. 2013, 3, 524-537.

Clément G, Skinner A, Richard G, and Lathan C. Geometric illusions in astronauts during long-duration spaceflight. Neuroreport. 2012. October 24; 23(15):894-9. []

Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA if you know of available data for this investigation.

Perception, horizontal lines
Perception, object's depth
Perception, target depth
Perception, vertical lines
Spatial cues

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Expedition 17 04/08/2008 10/23/2008 198 days
Expedition 18 10/12/2008 04/17/2009 187 days
Expedition 19 03/26/2009 10/11/2009 199 days
Expedition 20 05/27/2009 10/11/2009 137 days
Expedition 21 10/11/2009 12/01/2009 51 days
Expedition 22 11/30/2009 03/18/2010 109 days
Expedition 23 03/18/2010 06/01/2010 75 days
Expedition 26 11/26/2010 03/16/2011 111 days
Expedition 27 03/14/2011 05/23/2011 70 days
Expedition 28 05/23/2011 09/15/2011 115 days
Expedition 29 09/16/2011 11/21/2011 40 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
European Space Agency (ESA)
Alternate Experiment Name
Proposal Source