Long duration space flight is known to induce severe modifications in the sensorimotor and musculoskeletal systems. While inflight strategies including physical fitness have been used to prevent the loss of bone and muscle mass using appropriate rehabilitative countermeasures, less attention has been put forth in the design of technologies that can quickly and effectively assess sensorimotor function during missions in space. The aims of the present study were therefore (1) to develop a Portable Sensorimotor Assessment Platform (PSAP) to enable a crewmember to independently and quickly assess his/her sensorimotor function during the NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) and (2) to investigate changes in performance of static posture, tandem gait, and lower limb ataxia due to exposure in an extreme environment. Our data reveal that measuring the degree of upper body balance and gait regularity during tandem walking using PSAP provided a sensitive and objective quantification of body movement abnormalities due to changes in sensorimotor performance over the duration of mission exposure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Materials Science (miscellaneous)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science