Otolith Assessment During Postflight Re-adaptation (ILSRA_2004_235)
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human
Otolith Assessment During Postflight Re-adaptation (Otolith) assessed otolith (small bones of the inner ear) function before and after space flight to evaluate otolith-ocular response (OOR) and the subjective visual vertical (SVV) to assess unilateral utricle function. Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP) were recorded in order to assess unilateral saccule function.
Together, this represents a comprehensive examination of all aspects of the otolith system, providing critical information on the validity of the otolith asymmetry hypothesis and on the post flight adaptation of the individual otolith functions.
This experiment had three specific objectives, which were expected to provide information on the changes in otolith responses due to a period in prolonged microgravity and on the re-adaptation to one-g conditions of the otolithic system. These objectives were:
1. To measure the gain, symmetry and conjugacy of the unilateral utriculo-ocular response by means of unilateral centrifugation (UC) during preflight baseline and postflight re-adaptation phases.
2. To measure the symmetry and offset of the subjective visual vertical during UC, during preflight baseline and postflight re-adaptation phases.
3. To measure vestibular evoked myogenic potentials as an indicator of saccule function during preflight baseline and postflight re-adaptation phases.
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This was a preflight/postflight investigation which tested both long-duration (more than 150 days in orbit) and short-duration (less than 4 weeks in orbit) subjects. Four sessions were performed preflight at L-90 (launch minus 90 days), L-60, L-30, L-20, L-10. Five postflight sessions were performed at R+0, R+1, R+2-3, R+4-5 and R+8-10.
Given that the loss of the gravitational force represents a static offloading of the otolith organs, the working hypothesis is that the dynamic OOR will be enhanced in microgravity. Immediately after return to the one-g environment therefore, a corresponding increase in the OOR gain should be observed, and over the course of the following days be observed to return to preflight basline level. This should also be the case with SVV estimation.
Clément G and Wood SJ. Rocking or rolling - Perception of ambiguous motion after returning from space. PLoS One.
2014 Oct 29;9(10):e111107. [
Kornilova LN, Naumov IA, Makarova SM. Static Torsional Otolith-Cervical-Ocular Reflex After Prolonged Exposure to Weightlessness and a 7-day Immersion. Acta Astronautica. 2011. May-June; 68(9-10): 1462-1468.
Wuyts F, Struyfs H, Van de Zande E, Weerts A, Van de Heyning PH, Buytaert K. Testing the Human Gravity Detector with Ocular VEMP versus Unilateral Centrifugation. Is the Ocular VEMP a Hype?. Conference Paper for Life in Space for Life on Earth Symposium, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, 18-22 June 2012.
Vestibular function tests
Otolith-cervical-ocular reflex (OCOR)
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA
if you know of available data for this investigation.
Spontaneous oculomotor activity
Static torsional otolith cervical ocular reflex
Subjective visual vertical
Unilateral utricle function
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Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
European Space Agency (ESA)
Alternate Experiment Name