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Promoting Behavioral Health, Cognitive, Sensorimotor, and Immune Function Using Guided Imagery to Augment Exercise Training in an Isolated and Confined Spaceflight Analog Environment (80NSSC19K1480)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Behavior and performance
Exercise physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Operating in isolated, confined controlled (ICC) and extreme (ICE) environments degrades crew performance and jeopardizes mission success by impacting physical status, psychological symptoms, fatigue, and sensorimotor function. Although countermeasures help reduce the risks, individuals are still susceptible to problems adapting to and operating in ICC/ICE environments. Physical training has had a positive effect on cognitive and immune functions and psychological status. However, increased stress levels have limited individuals’ engagement in physical activity. Therefore, to ensure the efficacy of a physical training countermeasure, strategies need to be developed to ensure crewmembers maintain sufficient levels of training stimuli to provide the protective effects of physical activity while in the presence of increased stress levels when operating in ICC/ICE environments.

The overall hypothesis of this experiment is that structured exercise training performed during an ICC space flight analog will ameliorate stress-induced changes in behavioral health, cognitive, sensorimotor and immune system function. It is further posited that guided imagery will augment exercise on behavioral health, fatigue, cognitive and immune system function will be moderated by/correlated with reductions in biomarkers of stress and improvements/maintenance of central nervous system functioning.

The experiment has the following specific aims:

  1. Determine the effects of an in-flight validated exercise regimen (‘SPRINT’) on behavioral health, fatigue, cognitive, sensorimotor, and immune system function in an ICC space flight analog.
  2. Determine the impact of guided imagery on exercise adherence and positive affective responses to exercise in the ICC space flight analog. Explore the effects of adding guided imagery to the exercise regimen on behavioral health, fatigue, cognitive, sensorimotor and immune system function.
  3. Determine if exercise training, with or without guided imagery, has a positive impact on biomarkers of stress and central nervous system function in the ICC space flight analog and can increase resilience during an acute stress model of sleep deprivation relative to the control group.

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Behavioral health

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

Behavioral risk
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor-1 (BDNF-1)
Calories burned
Central visual recognition accuracy
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Ground 05/01/2009 In Progress
HERA Campaign 6 10/01/2021 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