Task Developing Predictive Measures of Sensorimotor Adaptability to Produce Customized Countermeasure Prescriptions (Bloomberg) (Completed)
Last Published:  07/31/19 10:05:33 AM (Central)
Short Title: Sensorimotor Predictors - ground
Responsible HRP Element: Human Health Countermeasures
Collaborating Org(s):
National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI)
Funding Status: Completed - Task completed and produced a deliverable
Procurement Mechanism(s):

Specific Aim 1: Determine whether behavioral metrics of individual sensory bias predicts

sensorimotor adaptability. 
Subjects show individual variation in the degree to which sensory inputs are weighted and reorganized to produce motor output during exposure to discordant sensory conditions. These individual sensory biases may serve as predictors of adaptability. For this aim, subjects will perform tests that will delineate individual sensory biases in tests of visual, vestibular and proprioceptive function. They will then be tested to determine if these metrics predict how quickly they adapt to a novel discordant sensory environment. We hypothesize that subjects who are more dependent on a single sensory modality and/or show reduced function within a given sensory modality will have reduced ability to adapt to a novel discordant sensory environment compared to subjects who use multiple sensory modalities equally.  


Specific Aim 2: Determine if individual capability for strategic and plastic-adaptive responses predicts sensorimotor adaptability. 

The transition from one sensorimotor state to another consists of two main mechanisms: strategic and plastic-adaptive. Strategic modifications represent immediate and transitory changes in control that are employed to deal with short-term changes in the prevailing environment. If these changes are prolonged then plastic-adaptive changes are evoked that modify central nervous system function to automate new behavioral responses. For this aim, each subject’s strategic and plastic-adaptive abilities will be assessed using two tests of locomotor function designed specifically to delineate both mechanisms. Subjects will then be tested to determine if these measures predict how quickly they adapt to a novel discordant sensory environment. We hypothesize that subjects with greater ability to employ strategic responses will adapt more quickly during the initial exposure to a novel discordant sensory environment than subjects with less ability for strategic modifications.


Specific Aim 3: Develop predictors of sensorimotor adaptability using brain structural and

functional metrics. 

We will measure individual differences in regional brain volumes (structural MRI), white matter integrity (diffusion tensor imaging, or DTI), functional network integrity (resting state functional connectivity MRI), and sensorimotor adaptation task-related functional brain activation (functional MRI). Subjects will then be tested to determine if these metrics predict how quickly they behaviorally adapt to a novel discordant sensory environment.  We hypothesize that individual differences in brain structural and functional metrics will predict an individual’s ability to adapt to a novel discordant sensory environment.


Specific Aim 4: Determine if individualized training prescriptions based on predictive

metrics can be used to optimize sensorimotor adaptability training countermeasures.

To determine if predictive adaptability metrics can be used to design individualized training programs we will examine a test case focusing on improving adaptive performance of visually

dependent subjects. Subjects who are identified in Experiment 1, as being visually dependent

with reduced adaptive capability will receive individualized training prescriptions designed to

reduce their dependence on vision and increase their ability to use vestibular information for

control of movement. The training program will have two components. 1) Subjects will walk on

a treadmill-motion base system while viewing discordant visual scenes to reduce dependency on

vision along with support-surface motion to challenge gait stability. 2) During this training

subjects will receive stimuli (vestibular stochastic resonance) to enhance vestibular signal

detection. We anticipate that these two components will act in synergy during training to both

reduce visual dependency while increasing dependence on vestibular information. Training

efficacy will be assessed by comparing the performance of trained and control visually

dependent subjects on how quickly they adapt to a novel discordant sensory environment. We hypothesize that an individualized training program designed to decrease dependency on a single sensory source and promote use of multiple sensory modalities will enhance ability to

adapt to a novel discordant sensory environment.


This task informs the Risk of Inadequate Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).