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105-day Mars simulation: US studies focus on improving work performance
Date:7/13/2009

ng urine and saliva samples.

"Based on previous laboratory studies, we anticipate that during exposure to the shorter wavelength green light that melatonin will be significantly suppressed, resulting in better performance during overnight work," Czeisler said. "The findings will have direct application to night-shift workers."

Monitoring the Impact of Fatigue and Stress on Work Performance (Dr. David F. Dinges, lead investigator): The project tested two novel, unobtrusive, objective methods for monitoring impact of fatigue and stress on work performance. Crew members and mission control personnel participated. One test involved the feasibility of "reading the face" through use of an optical computer recognition system that monitored facial expressions, tracking the shape and movements of the face in three dimensions. Video was taken during brief cognitive tests, to detect the presence of stress, fatigue and negative affect, and will be used to determine the extent to which this approach was feasible during the mission.

The second performance measure used 3- and 10-minute laptop-based Psychomotor Vigilance Tests to detect changes in basic performance involving attention, response speed and impulsivity. The tests require the user to watch for a visual signal and respond quickly and accurately when it appears. Participants took the tests twice daily during day and night work. The tests have been validated in other settings for sensitivity to reduced alertness caused by a variety of factors in spaceflight (e.g., restricted sleep, night-shift work).

Crew Interactions and Autonomy (Dr. Nick Kanas, lead investigator): The study evaluated the mood, interpersonal interactions and performance of crew members and mission control personnel. The groups were studied under two conditions: low crew autonomy (where the work schedule was planned by mission control) and high crew autonomy (where the crew plan and troubleshoot their own work schedu
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Contact: Kathy Major
major@bcm.edu
713-798-5893
National Space Biomedical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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