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Otolith Assessment During Postflight Re-adaptation (ILSRA_2004_235)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Behavior and performance
Species Studied
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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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)

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.

Otolith-ocular response
Spontaneous oculomotor activity
Static torsional otolith cervical ocular reflex
Subjective visual vertical
Unilateral utricle function
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
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 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
STS-129 11/16/2009 11/27/2009 11 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