Task NSCOR for Evaluating Risk Factors and Biomarkers for Adaptation and Resilience to Spaceflight: Emotional Valence and Social Processes in ICC/ICE Environments
Last Published:  07/29/22 01:33:24 PM (Central)
Short Title: Adaptation and Resilience NSCOR
Responsible HRP Element: Human Factors and Behavioral Performance
Collaborating Org(s):
Funding Status: Active - Currently funded and in progress
Procurement Mechanism(s):
The overarching goal of this proposal is to characterize the three less well-understood NIMH RDoC domains related to positive valence, negative valence, and social processes as they relate to the performance, adaptation, and resilience of individuals living and working in ICC/ICE environments.  The investigator team will identify predictive indicators and biomarkers for resilience and adaptation in individuals and teams, to aid in astronaut selection and individualized countermeasure development with the goal to maintain and optimize performance capability and behavioral health during long-duration exploration missions (LDEM).

The specific aims of this study are:
Aim 1: Identify and quantify individual differences in adaptation and resilience, key threats to and promoters of mission relevant behavioral health and performance. The investigator team will use components of the RDoC framework to look across individual risk factors in order to identify and validate molecular, circuitry and physiological measures that can be used for monitoring and selection of individuals who are highly resilient to the key behavioral health and performance threats during autonomous, long duration and/or long distance exploration missions.

Aim 1a. Perform a comprehensive literature review of the RDoC framework to identify the units of analysis (e.g., cells, etc.) of the individual risk factors most related to LDEMs and positive valence, negative valence and social processes domains.

Aim 1b. Identify how the risk factors within those three RDoC domains relate to performance outcomes, resiliency, and adaptation in LDEMs.

Aim 2: Identify neural circuits and molecular/cellular mechanisms underlying adaptation and resilience in a rodent model using cross-species equivalency. 

Aim 3: Encompasses the biological basis of social support to assess individual sociability and the neurobehavioral contributions to resiliency and/or adaptability of engaging positively in social interactions, tolerance, and awareness (e.g., affiliation, attachment).

Aim 4: Identify how meaningful work mediates the relationship between risk factors, the valence and social process domains, and operational outcomes, as well as direct effects of meaningful work on performance. The intent is to identify a sensitive, reliable, valid, and feasible set of measures for measuring and monitoring meaningfulness of work in spaceflight.
        Aim 4a.  An additional aim and primary objective was added to assess the effects of plant growth and fresh food on behavioral health in an isolated, confinement and extreme (ICE) environment using the Neumayer III Station of Antarctica. The specific aim is to identify the research participant’s experiences growing plants and vegetables and the availability of fresh food using a series of self-reported measures related to meaningful work and to relate terrestrial research results to those of the ISS-Veggie project.

Aim 5: Encompasses the need to identify how positive and negative valence systems impact on psychological well-being and performance when confronted with the adverse conditions found in prolonged space flight. We will identify biomarkers and psychological report measures associated with the effects of well-being on performance and determine their contribution to the positive/negative valence systems involved in individual adaptation and resilience.
RiskRisk of Adverse Cognitive or Behavioral Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders
GapBMed-101: We need to identify, quantify, and validate the key selection factors for astronaut cognitive and behavioral strengths (e.g., resiliency) and operationally-relevant performance threats for increasingly Earth independent, long-duration, autonomous, and/or long-distance exploration missions.
GapBMed-102: Given exposures to spaceflight hazards (space radiation, isolation), how do we identify individual susceptibility, monitor molecular/biomarkers and acceptable thresholds, and validate behavioral health and CNS/neurological/neuropsychological performance measures and domains of relevance to exploration class missions?
GapBMed-108: Given each crewmember will experience multiple spaceflight hazards simultaneously, we need to identify and characterize the potential additive, antagonistic, or synergistic impacts of multiple stressors (e.g., space radiation, altered gravity, isolation, altered immune, altered sleep) on crew health and/or CNS/ cognitive functioning to develop threshold limits and validate countermeasures for any identified adverse crew health and/or operationally-relevant performance outcomes.
You are here!TaskNSCOR for Evaluating Risk Factors and Biomarkers for Adaptation and Resilience to Spaceflight: Emotional Valence and Social Processes in ICC/ICE Environments

RiskRisk of Performance and Behavioral Health Decrements Due to Inadequate Cooperation, Coordination, Communication, and Psychosocial Adaptation within a Team
You are here!TaskNSCOR for Evaluating Risk Factors and Biomarkers for Adaptation and Resilience to Spaceflight: Emotional Valence and Social Processes in ICC/ICE Environments