Cross plane transfer of vestibular adaptation to human centrifugation
Author(s)Garrick-Bethell, Ian, 1980-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Laurence R. Young.
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Human short-radius centrifugation (SRC) is being investigated as a volume-efficient means of delivering intermittent doses of "artificial gravity" to counter the deleterious effects of long exposures to weightlessness. Rotation rates on short radius centrifuges are high to provide the needed g-loading, and therefore entail a variety of unusual vestibular stimuli when certain head movements are made. Since these movements can elicit inappropriate nystagmus, illusions of tumbling, and motion sickness, efforts have been made to adapt people to the stimuli. So far these efforts have been successful in showing that people will adapt to at least one plane of head motion, the yaw (transverse) plane, during supine head-on-axis rotation. However, astronauts must be adapted to all planes of head motion if they are to function normally on the centrifuge. If adaptation to yaw head turns transferred to some extent to pitch (sagittal) plane turns, or any other plane of motion, it would greatly simplify and hasten the adaptation process. To investigate if transfer of adaptation across planes is possible, 10 subjects in the Experimental Group performed a sufficient number of yaw plane head turns to demonstrate adaptation. Adaptation was indicated by decreases in metrics of the off-axis vestibuloocular reflex induced by the head turns, and by subjective ratings of illusory motion. A block of pitch movements was performed before and after the yaw movements, and these two pitch blocks were compared to assess how much adaptation to pitch head turns had taken place. The same procedure was followed on a subsequent day. A Control Group of 10 subjects performed only the blocks of pitch turns, and their adaptation was compared to the adaptation to pitch turns measured in the Experimental(cont.) Group. While both Control and Experimental Groups showed statistically significant signs of adaptation to pitch head turns, we failed to find any significant differences between the amounts of adaptation. If true, this result implies that adaptation to SRC may need to be performed one plane of motion at a time. Additionally, it implies that the brain and vestibular system does not build up a generalized model of SRC stimulation, but rather builds adaptation one input at a time.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2004.Includes bibliographical references (p. 101-106).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics.