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mechanisms of sensorimotor adaptation to centrifugationWe postulate that centripetal acceleration induced by centrifugation can be used as an inflight sensorimotor countermeasure to retain and/or promote appropriate crewmember responses to sustained changes in gravito-inertial force conditions. Active voluntary motion is required to promote vestibular system conditioning, and both visual and graviceptor sensory feedback are critical for evaluating internal representations of spatial orientation. The goal of our investigation is to use centrifugation to develop an analog to the conflicting visual/gravito-inertial force environment experienced during space flight, and to use voluntary head movements during centrifugation to study mechanisms of adaptation to altered gravity environments. We address the following two hypotheses: (1) Discordant canal-otolith feedback during head movements in a hypergravity tilted environment will cause a reorganization of the spatial processing required for multisensory integration and motor control, resulting in decreased postural stability upon return to normal gravity environment. (2) Adaptation to this "gravito-inertial tilt distortion" will result in a negative after-effect, and readaptation will be expressed by return of postural stability to baseline conditions. During the third year of our grant we concentrated on examining changes in balance control following 90-180 min of centrifugation at 1.4 9. We also began a control study in which we exposed subjects to 90 min of sustained roll tilt in a static (non-rotating) chair. This allowed us to examine adaptation to roll tilt without the hypergravity induced by centrifugation. To these ends, we addressed the question: Is gravity an internal calibration reference for postural control? The remainder of this report is limited to presenting preliminary findings from this study.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Paloski, W. H.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Wood, S. J.
(National Space Biomedical Research Inst. Houston, TX United States)
Kaufman, G. D.
(National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1999
Publication Information
Publication: Proceedings of the First Biennial Space Biomedical Investigators' Workshop
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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