Monitoring And Prediction Of Nervous Functions In Space
Initial results obtained from monitoring human performance, during manned orbital flight of 9 hours duration (U. S.) and 96 hours duration (USSR) indicate little, if any, demonstrable degradation from these levels achieved during ground-based simulator runs. With available biomedical instrumentation in current use, however, no critical assessment of central nervous system function has been possible during the U. S. missions. Recognizing the extreme importance of monitoring and evaluating alertness, judgment, purposeful motor responsiveness during critical stages of future space missions, we have developed prototype EEG recording equipment which meets the unique and rigid requirements imposed during space flight.
Concomitantly with the required equipment and test and development there have been conducted a series of studies in animals exposed to simulated stresses of space flight up to 14 days duration. These studies have included the effects of acceleration, vibration, sensory deprivation, hallucinogenic drugs on discriminative performance, alertness and sleep-wakefulness cycles; with concomitant assays being made of steroid and catechol amine metabolism.
As a basic keystone around which our final objective could be realized, the UCLA Space Biology Laboratory has pioneered in the application of 3 complex computer techniques to the analysis of the EEG data recorded. Differences in these various quantitative and qualitative functions analyzed have been seen in many of the responses studied and the results thus far encourage the view that these techniques are more revealing of early significant changes than most others in current use.
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