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Resting State Brain Activity During Long-Term Dry Immersion

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BACKGROUND: The purpose of this work was to investigate the brain’s rhythmic activity during a simulated microgravity condition (namely dry immersion).

METHODS: During dry immersion, which lasted for 5 d, nine subjects (healthy men, 20 to 29 yr of age) were individually placed in a tub (2.2 × 1.1 × 0.85 m) filled with water (temperature was kept constant at about 33°C). Subject floated in the tub without bodily support in the supine horizontal position, but isolated from the water by waterproof material. Resting state EEGs were registered at the fourth or fifth day of dry immersion. Under the control conditions, resting state EEGs were registered while subjects laid in a supine position on a couch.

RESULTS: Compared to the control condition, EEG power in the alpha range (8–13 Hz) was greater in dry immersion; this effect was distributed across the whole scalp. No effects of dry immersion were found for the beta, delta, or theta frequency bands.

CONCLUSION: The results of the study, similar to those obtained in a real spaceflight, indicate that support withdrawal is an important contributor to brain activity alterations in weightlessness.

Lazarev IE, Tomilovskaya ES, Kozlovskaya IB. Resting state brain activity during long-term dry immersion. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2018; 89(7):642–647.
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Keywords: EEG; dry immersion; support withdrawal; weightlessness

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • This journal (formerly Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine), representing the members of the Aerospace Medical Association, is published monthly for those interested in aerospace medicine and human performance. It is devoted to serving and supporting all who explore, travel, work, or live in hazardous environments ranging from beneath the sea to the outermost reaches of space. The original scientific articles in this journal provide the latest available information on investigations into such areas as changes in ambient pressure, motion sickness, increased or decreased gravitational forces, thermal stresses, vision, fatigue, circadian rhythms, psychological stress, artificial environments, predictors of success, health maintenance, human factors engineering, clinical care, and others. This journal also publishes notes on scientific news and technical items of interest to the general reader, and provides teaching material and reviews for health care professionals.

    To access volumes 74 through 85, please click here.
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