DOI: 10.3390/life13091852 ISSN:

Circuits and Biomarkers of the Central Nervous System Relating to Astronaut Performance: Summary Report for a NASA-Sponsored Technical Interchange Meeting

Joshua S. Alwood, Ajitkumar P. Mulavara, Janani Iyer, Siddhita D. Mhatre, Susanna Rosi, Mark Shelhamer, Catherine Davis, Christopher W. Jones, Xiao Wen Mao, Rajeev I. Desai, Alexandra M. Whitmire, Thomas J. Williams
  • Paleontology
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Biomarkers, ranging from molecules to behavior, can be used to identify thresholds beyond which performance of mission tasks may be compromised and could potentially trigger the activation of countermeasures. Identification of homologous brain regions and/or neural circuits related to operational performance may allow for translational studies between species. Three discussion groups were directed to use operationally relevant performance tasks as a driver when identifying biomarkers and brain regions or circuits for selected constructs. Here we summarize small-group discussions in tables of circuits and biomarkers categorized by (a) sensorimotor, (b) behavioral medicine and (c) integrated approaches (e.g., physiological responses). In total, hundreds of biomarkers have been identified and are summarized herein by the respective group leads. We hope the meeting proceedings become a rich resource for NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP) and the community of researchers.

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