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      Development and Validation of the Cognition Test Battery for Spaceflight

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          Abstract

          Background

          Sustained high-level cognitive performance is of paramount importance for the success of space missions, which involve environmental, physiological and psychological stressors that may affect brain functions. Despite subjective symptom reports of cognitive fluctuations in spaceflight, the nature of neurobehavioral functioning in space has not been clarified.

          Methods

          We developed a computerized cognitive test battery ( Cognition) that has sensitivity to multiple cognitive domains and was specifically designed for the high-performing astronaut population. Cognition consists of 15 unique forms of 10 neuropsychological tests that cover a range of cognitive domains including emotion processing, spatial orientation, and risk decision making. Cognition is based on tests known to engage specific brain regions as evidenced by functional neuroimaging. Here we describe the first normative and acute total sleep deprivation data on the Cognition test battery as well as several efforts underway to establish the validity, sensitivity, feasibility, and acceptability of Cognition.

          Results

          Practice effects and test-retest variability differed substantially between the 10 Cognition tests, illustrating the importance of normative data that both reflect practice effects and differences in stimulus set difficulty in the population of interest. After one night without sleep, medium to large effect sizes were observed for 3 of the 10 tests addressing vigilant attention (Cohen’s d=1.00), cognitive throughput (d=0.68), and abstract reasoning (d=0.65).

          Conclusions

          In addition to providing neuroimaging-based novel information on the effects of spaceflight on a range of cognitive functions, Cognition will facilitate comparing the effects of ground-based analogs to spaceflight, increase consistency across projects, and thus enable meta-analyses.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          101654770
          43676
          Aerosp Med Hum Perform
          Aerosp Med Hum Perform
          Aerospace medicine and human performance
          2375-6314
          2375-6322
          19 December 2015
          November 2015
          01 November 2016
          : 86
          : 11
          : 942-952
          Affiliations
          [1 ]Division of Sleep and Chronobiology, Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
          [2 ]Brain Behavior Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
          [3 ]Pulsar Informatics, Inc., Philadelphia, PA
          [4 ]Joggle Research, Seattle, WA
          Author notes
          Corresponding author: Mathias Basner, MD, PhD, MSc, Associate Professor of Sleep and Chronobiology in Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 1013 Blockley Hall, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021, USA, Tel: +1 215 573-5866, Fax: +1 215 573-6410, basner@ 123456upenn.edu
          [*]

          These authors contributed equally to the manuscript.

          Article
          PMC4691281 PMC4691281 4691281 nihpa745622
          10.3357/AMHP.4343.2015
          4691281
          26564759
          bcfaf43c-5e97-43d6-bf4b-82ea4cdfa031
          History
          Categories
          Article

          astronaut,microgravity,stress,confinement,isolation,sleep deprivation,neuropsychological test,cognitive test,cognition,space,spaceflight,performance

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