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EXPERIMENT INFORMATION

Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT) on ISS (Reaction)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Behavior and performance
Neurophysiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Description
OBJECTIVES:
The Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT) Reaction Self Test was developed to provide astronauts with objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in vigilant attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on International Space Station (ISS) missions. The Reaction Self Test (RST) is ideal for repeated use in space flight because unlike other cognitive tests, it is very brief, three to five minutes, while being free of learning effects and aptitude differences that make interpretation of other cognitive measures difficult. The test was successfully deployed in three NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO 9, 12, and 13) and was found to be acceptable by the 12 astronauts, whose data provided a normative database for development of a feedback interface for the RST to alert astronauts to their performance level. The ultimate goal of the RST project was to validate the sensitivity of the PVT Self Test on astronauts on the ISS so they can use it 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.

This study had the following specific aims:


  1. Evaluate the extent to which PVT Self Test performance of astronauts is sensitive to fatigue from sleep loss and circadian disruption during ISS missions.
  2. Evaluate the extent to which PVT Self Test performance of astronauts is sensitive to fatigue from work intensity during ISS missions.
  3. Evaluate the extent to which PVT Self Test performance of astronauts declines with time in mission.
  4. Evaluate the extent to which PVT Self Test performance of astronauts is sensitive to the carry-over effects of medications for sleep (e.g., zolpidem, ramelteon, etc.) on the ISS.
  5. Evaluate the extent to which PVT Self Test performance feedback (via a graphical interface) is perceived by ISS astronauts as a useful tool for assessing performance capability.

To determine whether there were continuing changes in RST outcomes for ISS missions greater than a six-month duration, a study was conducted on the RST outcomes of two participants in the initial 1-year mission (i.e., one US astronaut and one Russian cosmonaut). The US astronaut and Russian cosmonaut were evaluated within the 1-year mission, and relative to data from the N=21 astronauts in 6-month missions.

The second part of this study had the following specific aims:


  1. Evaluate whether there were changes in sleep duration and/or sleep quality within the 1-year mission and differences in these outcomes between the 1-year and 6-month missions.
  2. Evaluate whether there were changes in psychomotor speed, performance lapses, and premature responses on the Brief Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT-B) within the 1-year mission and differences in these outcomes between the 1-year and 6-month missions.
  3. Evaluate whether there were changes in subjective ratings of sleepiness, fatigue, tiredness, physical exhaustion, workload, and stress within the 1-year mission and differences in these outcomes between the 1-year and 6-month missions.
  4. Investigate changes in the intake of caffeine and medications within the 1-year mission and differences in these outcomes between the 1-year and 6-month missions.


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Keywords
Sleep
Psychomotor performance
Work

Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. Data sets are not publicly available but can be requested.
Data Sets+ Request data

Parameters
Alertness
Button presses
Caffeine
Exhaustion, physical
False starts
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
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 24 06/01/2010 09/25/2010 117 days
Expedition 25 09/24/2010 11/25/2010 31 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
Expedition 30 11/14/2011 04/27/2012 166 days
Expedition 31 04/27/2012 07/01/2012 65 days
Expedition 32 07/01/2012 09/16/2012 78 days
Expedition 33 09/16/2012 11/18/2012 63 days
Expedition 34 11/18/2012 03/15/2013 117 days
Expedition 35 03/15/2013 05/13/2013 58 days
Expedition 36 05/13/2013 09/10/2013 166 days
Expedition 37 09/10/2013 11/10/2013 61 days
Expedition 38 11/10/2013 03/10/2014 120 days
Expedition 43 03/11/2015 06/10/2015 91 days
Expedition 44 06/10/2015 09/11/2015 93 days
Expedition 45 09/11/2015 12/11/2015 91 days
Expedition 46 12/11/2015 03/02/2016 82 days

Human Research Program (HRP) Human Research Roadmap (HRR) Information
Crew health and performance is critical to successful human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to human health and performance, providing essential countermeasures and technologies for human space exploration. Risks include physiological and performance effects from hazards such as radiation, altered gravity, and hostile environments, as well as unique challenges in medical support, human factors, and behavioral health support. The HRP utilizes an Integrated Research Plan (IRP) to identify the approach and research activities planned to address these risks, which are assigned to specific Elements within the program. The Human Research Roadmap is the web-based tool for communicating the IRP content.

The Human Research Roadmap is located at: https://humanresearchroadmap.nasa.gov/

+ Click here for information of how this experiment is contributing to the HRP's path for risk reduction.

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Eric Gallagher
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Alternate Experiment Name
Reaction Self Test
Self_Test
NNX08AY09G
PVT
9006
PVST
Proposal Date
08/01/2008
Proposal Source
Directed Research