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Markers of Susceptibility to Neurobehavioral Decrements in Space Flight (NCC958NBPF02801)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

This project is responsive to the NSBRI Neurobehavioral and Psychosocial Factors Team goal to validate objective markers of susceptibility to stress, fatigue, and neurobehavioral decrements associated with long-duration space flight, and to the NASA HRP Behavioral Health and Performance gap to find individual characteristics that predict successful adaptation and performance in an isolated, confined, and extreme environments, especially for long-duration missions. Sleep loss is common in space flight but there are currently no valid objective markers of the large inter-individual differences in susceptibility to its neurobehavioral effects. To fill this gap, the project will validate promising novel markers of susceptibility to fatigue-related neurobehavioral decrements.

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McCauley P, Kalachev LV, Mollicone DJ, Banks S, Dinges DF, and Van Dongen HP. Dynamic circadian modulation in a biomathematical model for the effects of sleep and sleep loss on waking neurobehavioral performance. Sleep. 2013. December 1; 36(12):1987-97. []

Pellegrino R, Kavakli IH, Goel N, Cardinale CJ, Dinges DF, Kuna ST, Maislin G, Van Dongen HP, Tufik S, Hogenesch JB, Hakonarson H, and Pack AI. A novel BHLHE41 variant is associated with short sleep and resistance to sleep deprivation in humans. Sleep. 2014. August 1; 37(8):1327-36. []

Spaeth AM, Goel N, and Dinges DF. Cumulative neurobehavioral and physiological effects of chronic caffeine intake: individual differences and implications for the use of caffeinated energy products. Nutritional Reviews. 2014. October; 72 Suppl 1:34-47. []

Circadian rhythm
Gene expression

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

Gene variation
Heart rate
Partial sleep deprivation
Salivary a-amylase activity
Time on task
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Ground 05/01/2009 In Progress

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:

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

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
2011 Crew Health NNJ11ZSA002NA