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Hyper.Campus -Effects of Artificial Gravity on Structural and Functional Plasticity during Head-Down Tilt Bed Rest (80NSSC18K0765)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Behavior and performance
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Head down tilt bed rest (HDBR) has been effectively used to assess the physiological changes related to space flight. It has also been employed to assess the impact of immobility on cognitive functioning. Given the positive relationship between physical activity and cognitive function, it is expected that bed rest negatively affects cognitive performance. In addition, it is expected that the effects are most pronounced for executive functions, working memory, and spatial cognition as physical activity interventions predominantly affect the hippocampus, cingulate cortex, and prefrontal cortex.

The main objective of this study is to investigate the effects of 60 days of HDBR with and without two different artificial gravity (AG) protocols as a countermeasure on structural and functional neuroplasticity and their behavioral significance. The investigators will assess the relationship with key neurotrophic factors to better understand the underlying mechanisms of the detrimental effects of HDBR and compare these data to historic data of two European Space Agency (ESA) sponsored HDBR studies of identical duration. Investigators will include neuroimaging protocols that overlap with ongoing and future studies on the International Space Station (ISS) and other space analogs such as the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) and Antarctica.

This study has the following specific aims:

  1. Investigate the effects of HDBR with and without AG on brain structure and function.
  2. Investigate the effects of HDBR with and without AG on cognitive performance.
  3. Investigate the effects of HDBR with and without AG on biochemical markers of stress and neuroplasticity.

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Data Information
Data Availability
Archiving in progress. Data is not yet available for this experiment.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)
Interleukin-1 (IL-1)
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Ground 05/01/2009 In Progress

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
Directed Research