12
Behavioral Issues

Introduction

Astronauts on long-duration missions are subjected to many factors that may affect their health, well-being, and performance of mission-related duties. Some of these factors are unique to the space environment (e.g., prolonged periods of microgravity), whereas others are also present in other environments (e.g., confinement, isolation, exposure to physical hazards, altered work or rest schedules). Still others are characteristic of the individuals, groups, and organizations involved in crewed space missions. This chapter discusses the factors that affect behavior and performance during the preflight, in-flight, and postflight phases of manned space missions, and it makes recommendations for research and changes in operations to ensure crew members' safety, well-being, and productivity, along with mission success.1 As such, it is much broader in scope than the study of space human factors, which focuses on the role of humans in complex systems, the design of equipment and facilities for human use, and the development of environments for comfort and safety.2 Although these issues are not addressed here, the committee's objective is nevertheless to provide a comprehensive assessment of the current status and future direction of research in human behavior and performance in space.

Program History

Over the past 30 years, a number of reports and publications of scientific panels, working groups, and scientific conferences have identified various requirements for conducting research on human behavior and provided NASA with several recommendations. Those recommendations have been based on a similar set of conclusions as summarized in the 1987 Goldberg report:3

There is not enough objective data to determine the seriousness of behavioral impairments in past spaceflight missions. Nevertheless, there is reason to suppose that pyschological problems have already



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--> 12 Behavioral Issues Introduction Astronauts on long-duration missions are subjected to many factors that may affect their health, well-being, and performance of mission-related duties. Some of these factors are unique to the space environment (e.g., prolonged periods of microgravity), whereas others are also present in other environments (e.g., confinement, isolation, exposure to physical hazards, altered work or rest schedules). Still others are characteristic of the individuals, groups, and organizations involved in crewed space missions. This chapter discusses the factors that affect behavior and performance during the preflight, in-flight, and postflight phases of manned space missions, and it makes recommendations for research and changes in operations to ensure crew members' safety, well-being, and productivity, along with mission success.1 As such, it is much broader in scope than the study of space human factors, which focuses on the role of humans in complex systems, the design of equipment and facilities for human use, and the development of environments for comfort and safety.2 Although these issues are not addressed here, the committee's objective is nevertheless to provide a comprehensive assessment of the current status and future direction of research in human behavior and performance in space. Program History Over the past 30 years, a number of reports and publications of scientific panels, working groups, and scientific conferences have identified various requirements for conducting research on human behavior and provided NASA with several recommendations. Those recommendations have been based on a similar set of conclusions as summarized in the 1987 Goldberg report:3 There is not enough objective data to determine the seriousness of behavioral impairments in past spaceflight missions. Nevertheless, there is reason to suppose that pyschological problems have already

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--> occurred in spaceflights and that these will increase in frequency and severity as missions become longer and more complex, as crews become larger and more heterogeneous, and as the dangers of spaceflight become more fully appreciated. Despite this assessment of the importance of behavioral issues, little progress had been made in transforming the recommendations for research on human behavior and performance in space into action.4 In contrast to the routine collection of data on cardiovascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal changes in-flight since the early days of the U.S. space program, there has been relatively little effort to collect data on behavior and performance in a systematic fashion. Nevertheless, as missions have become longer in duration, issues relating to human behavior and performance have gained increasing prominence. This prominence is reflected in studies of individuals and groups in analogue environments as well as the largely anecdotal accounts of long-duration missions of the Russian space program and the Shuttle-Mir Space Program (SMSP). As could be predicted from controlled simulation studies, 5 6 7 the history of space exploration has seen many instances of reduced energy levels, mood changes, poor interpersonal relations, faulty decision making, and lapses in memory and attention. Although these negative psychological reactions have yet to result in a disaster, this is no justification for ignoring problems that may have disastrous consequences. Furthermore, there are degrees of failure short of disaster and degrees of success short of perfection; if favorable organizational and environmental conditions can increase the level and probability of success, they are worthy of consideration. Statement of Goals The 1987 NRC report stated: "The overall goal for the study of human behavior in space is the development of empirically based scientific principles that identify the environmental, individual, group, and organizational requirements for the long-term occupancy of space by humans."8 This goal remains as important today as it was 11 years ago. However, it is important to acknowledge three interrelated elements of this overall goal. The first is the identification of operational requirements for the facilitation and support of optimal individual, group, and organizational performance and the prevention and treatment of performance decrements during long-duration missions. Although priority should be given to the operational relevance of this research, the second element of research on behavior and performance in space is the advancement of fundamental knowledge of human behavior that has relevance beyond long-duration missions. Both of these elements, in turn, are related to a third—promotion of the physical and mental well-being of those directly and indirectly involved in long-duration missions, including flight crews, their families, and their ground support colleagues. All three objectives presume the existence of certain environmental and organizational constraints that will give priority to operational over basic science issues as well as observational over experimental research designs. Nevertheless, the committee acknowledges the importance of utilizing approaches to the study of behavior and performance in space that seek to integrate these diverse sets of issues and designs. Definition and Assessment of Behavior and Performance in Space Research in human behavior and performance during long-duration missions is concerned with individual crew members and ground support personnel; groups of individuals who comprise the flight crews and ground support teams of specific missions; and the organizations that recruit, train, and support these individuals. Individual performance has traditionally been assessed using measures of task productivity (ability), emotional health and well-being (stability), and the quality and quantity of

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--> social interactions with other crew members (compatibility).9 10 Group performance has traditionally been assessed using measures of cooperation and conflict.11 12 Organizational performance has traditionally been assessed using measures of the costs and benefits of accomplishing mission, organizational, and overarching national political goals and objectives. In the past, emphasis has been placed on human behavior and performance research that is conducted in-flight. However, research conducted during the extended period of training and preparation prior to the mission (preflight) and during the aftermath of a crewed mission (postflight) is also viewed as essential in accomplishing the overall scientific goals described above. Research in Analogue Environments Much of our understanding of human behavior and performance in space has been obtained from the study of "analogues" such as Antarctic research stations, polar expeditions, nuclear submarines, isolated military outposts and national parks, undersea habitats, oil drilling rigs, small rural communities, and space simulator experiments.13 14 15 16 These analogues serve as "model systems" of behavior in space in much the same way that hindlimb unloading and bed-rest studies described elsewhere in this report serve as model systems of physiological changes related to microgravity. In many instances, a considerable amount of data that are relevant to long-duration space missions has already been collected. These data sets also offer a larger sample size than is typically available from either the U.S. or the Russian space programs. The collection of new data in analogue environments may also be cheaper than collecting similar data in space for logistical reasons. Thus, analogue studies are more cost-effective than new research conducted in space and provide an opportunity to identify and resolve problems on the ground before they occur in space. Simulator studies can be especially useful, since they lead to the characterization of important space-related psychosocial factors under controlled conditions, expose possible relationships between these factors, and allow variables to be manipulated in a systematic fashion. However, analogue settings vary with respect to their relevance to long-duration space missions.17 Such missions and each of the analogue environments exhibit important differences with respect to characteristics of crew members, procedures for screening and selection, crew size, mission objectives and duration, and the nature of the physical environment. Patterns of behavior associated with adapting to the extreme cold and extended periods of darkness during the Antarctic winter, for instance, may be very different from patterns of behavior associated with adapting to the microgravity environment of space capsules. Similarly, lessons learned about the effects of duration of exposure to isolation and confinement from studies of submarine crews may not be relevant to astronaut crews that are much smaller in size. In general, analogue studies are believed to be necessary and suitable for examining many of the issues described in this chapter, including: environmental conditions common to isolated and confined environments, circadian rhythms and sleep, the psychophysiology of emotion and stress, stress and coping, cognition and perception, emotion, personality, crew tension and conflict, crew cohesion, ground-crew interaction, leadership, psychosocial countermeasures, organizational culture, mission duration, and mission management. Other issues can be examined only under actual conditions of spaceflight. These include the effects of microgravity and the absence of a normal diurnal cycle on sleep and circadian rhythms, cognition and perception, affect and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis; psychopharmacology; and the requirements for conducting valid and reliable psychophysiological measures in space. There is a need to determine how to connect data collected in analogue settings to the characteristics of the space program. In addition, greater emphasis is required on determining how knowledge obtained from analogue environments can be incorporated into the National Aeronautics and

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--> Space Administration (NASA) activities with respect to the screening and selection of astronaut personnel, development and implementation of training programs and psychological countermeasures, and development and testing of data collection procedures that meet the requirements listed above. Integration of Research and Operations Research on behavior and performance in space presents numerous opportunities to integrate the goals and objectives of researchers and operations managers and to simultaneously address issues of theoretical and operational importance. There is a need to bring researchers, clinicians, and managers involved in operations together to identify and prioritize the needs for research from the operational perspective and the resources available to conduct behavior and performance research. There is also a need to conduct research that demonstrates a relationship between issues with operational relevance and the more fundamental questions related to human behavior and performance in general. For instance, research conducted on a long-duration mission or in analogue environments offers the potential for determining the extent to which various personality characteristics such as neuroticism, extraversion, and openness influence cognitive performance, patterns of stress and coping, social dynamics, or measures of health and well-being. Similarly, the extent to which crew member autonomy or control over workload influences health, well-being, and performance could provide greater insight into the role of self-efficacy and personal autonomy in general.18 Ultimately, research on behavior and performance in long-duration space missions that meets the needs of the larger society, as well as the more specific programmatic needs of NASA and other space agencies, should be designed and developed. Organizational Support of Research Research on human behavior and performance in space requires first the development of an organizational climate that is supportive of such research. The principal task in creating such a climate is providing access to the objects of study (i.e., space crews and ground control personnel). Previous NRC recommendations and other reviews of the need for research on behavior and performance in space have emphasized the importance of gaining access to those involved in crewed space missions.19 In the past, there has been a great reluctance on the part of the astronaut community to participate in such research because of concerns over the lack of confidentiality and the potential for inappropriate use of information that could-threaten assignments to specific missions and jeopardize careers. Even if astronauts are willing to participate in such research, they are unlikely to be in a position to provide information on behavior and performance if they operate in an organizational environment that does not support the collection and analysis of such information and that provides no safeguards against its misuse. The ability to convince the individuals, groups, and organizations who are the objects of this research to participate is critical to its success. However, access implies some form of reciprocity between behavioral scientists and their subjects. Although previous reports have implied that it is the primary responsibility of NASA to provide access to study subjects, behavioral scientists must share responsibility in this regard. This responsibility includes clear explanation of the importance of such research, demonstration of its relevance to mission operations, and implementation of procedures that will ensure the confidentiality of data collected and prevent the misuse of these data. It may also be worth considering an alternative strategy in which researchers and study participants collaborate in refining the design and execution of studies that are of interest and importance to both parties. This kind of "action research" in operational settings often can generate more trustworthy findings (and therefore better science) than studies using methods that have been optimized for laboratory conditions. Moreover, a more collaborative

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--> approach can often avoid the "us-versus-them" dynamic that not infrequently develops between researchers who need compliance with their procedures and subjects who understandably may object to invasive questions, instruments, or protocols for research whose purpose is not fully understood or for which they view themselves merely as objects under study. Research in behavior and performance also requires an increase in the level of institutional support for psychologists, psychiatrists, and other behavioral scientists within the respective organizations involved in long-duration missions. Such support may take several different forms—from increased funding for NASA scientists to interact with colleagues at professional meetings and conferences, to a greater role in management decision making. Increased visibility of the behavioral sciences within the management framework of NASA would contribute substantially to creating a climate that is favorable to research in behavior and performance. A third requirement is a commitment to ongoing data collection for operational and research purposes. As with any data collection activity, it is much easier and more cost-effective to maintain an ongoing data collection system than to intermittently initiate and discontinue data collection efforts. A fourth requirement for the organizational support of research in human behavior and performance in space is improvement of the peer review process for grant proposals and expansion of opportunities for the dissemination of study results to the wider research community. At present, proposals for research in behavior and performance are reviewed by panels that are composed almost exclusively of investigators with expertise in space human factors, with almost no input from investigators with expertise in the social and behavioral sciences. In contrast to the recommendations of the Committee on Advanced Technology for Human Support in Space (1997),20 this committee believes that NASA should continue to separate behavior and performance from space human factors at the managerial level. Although there are admittedly certain advantages to the integration of management efforts in these two interrelated areas, one of the problems with conducting behavior and performance research in the past has been the low priority accorded to such research in favor of work conducted in areas such as ergonomics, biomechanics, anthropometrics, and workload. In part, this low priority has been the result of failure to understand the different focus of behavior and performance research and space human factors research. Greater efforts are required on the part of NASA to identify and recruit experts in human behavior and performance in space and analogue environments, as well as experts in disciplines that have relevance to the issues described below, to participate in such research, review grant proposals, and evaluate study findings. Greater efforts are also required on the part of investigators to publish many of the results that currently exist only in anecdotal form, abstracts of conference proceedings, or the "gray" literature of technical reports. Environmental Factors Living in a small capsule for a prolonged period exposes the group to chronic, cumulative stress from a variety of environmental sources. This is an increasingly serious issue as missions become longer, because stressors and vulnerability to stress accumulate over time. 21 Stress effects are also exacerbated by unexpected reductions in living space, habitability, or safety, which may become even more serious as missions involve longer duration and lower accessibility. Environmental Conditions Unique to Spaceflight As described in Chapter 5, microgravity significantly disrupts such basic aspects of perception and behavior as vertical orientation and energy expenditure, and is causally linked to space motion sickness.

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--> Microgravity has important implications for ergonomic design, and its possible effects on task performance, visual orientation, and emotional well-being during long-duration missions clearly require intensive research. Prolonged periods in small enclosed spaces, combined with microgravity, have effects on perception and motor behavior. 22 A recent report that astronauts cannot accurately recall the position of an unseen target has implications for safe manipulation of controls when visual contact is lost.23 As noted in Chapter 5, depth perception, eye-hand coordination, and visual constancies may also be affected during flight. Systematic in-flight research on how design features might remedy these problems (e.g., by establishing a consistent local vertical)24 is needed. A host of minor discomforts peculiar to spaceflight may add up to the most stressful aspects of capsule life. Such chronic stressors or "daily hassles" include uncomfortable levels of temperature and humidity, limited light (to conserve power), noise and vibration from machinery, constant vigilance involved in monitoring instruments, the need to put on and take off clumsy protective clothing for every venture outside the capsule, the growing accumulation of garbage and floating particles, and limited facilities for sanitation and refreshment. Environmental pollution, in particular, may have different emotional and performance effects on different individuals, and tolerance for such conditions may be worth testing as an aspect of astronaut selection and training. Environmental pollution may also cause olfactory distress, and although psychological adaptation and physiological habituation to unpleasant olfactory stimuli have been studied, they have not been investigated during prolonged capsule living. Analogue studies typically have not involved the deliberate induction of discomfort, but future studies should do so because such conditions are very likely to have emotional consequences that would affect individual performance and group dynamics. Some unique environmental features are not only unpleasant but also dangerous. A good example is the degradation of the internal atmosphere through increased carbon dioxide levels or through fuel or gas leaks. For example, glycol was released into the atmosphere on board Mir in April 1997; the crew had to don protective gear for extended periods of time, which further increased discomfort and inconvenience. These and other potential dangers, such as radiation and loss of pressure, make spaceflight intrinsically stressful. It is important to establish how space crews assess and react to the continuous possibility and occasional occurrence of hazards and whether these processes differ in short-duration and long-duration missions. There is a critical need to examine the perceived likelihood and severity of risk factors, how the perceived risk influences the individual and group performance of the crew, and what countermeasures would minimize their fears. Environmental Conditions Common to Isolated, Confined Environments Space vehicles are part of the class of isolated, confined environments (ICEs) that have a number of shared characteristics. Some of these pose a challenge for the crew and therefore must be considered in physical and behavioral design processes. For instance, several ICE stressors are related to physical and social density: crowded, minimally partitioned spaces violate the fundamental need to maintain control over other people's access to oneself. In normal environments, this control is exercised by means of interpersonal distance, territoriality, and privacy. When control over these factors is eroded, stress results. 25 Violations of interpersonal distance, territoriality, and privacy are common in ICEs and can result in irritability, tension, personal conflicts, withdrawal, and performance decrements (especially in tasks that require cooperation). These problems may be exacerbated when the crew simultaneously has to cope with other demands, when cohesion is already low, or when the group includes people from cultures that follow different norms. For instance, preferred interpersonal distances are greater in North America and Western Europe than in the Middle East and some parts of Asia and Latin America, and a

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--> distance that appears comfortable to one participant in a cross-cultural interaction may signal aggression or rejection to the other.26 Research is needed to understand how stressors associated with the physical and social density of ICEs are likely to be affected by the unique characteristics of spaceflight (e.g., the peculiarity of microgravity makes possible some new and strange interaction orientations) 27 and how they influence specific aspects of performance and adjustment in missions of various types and durations. Space simulators could be used to assess how interior design (e.g., movable bulkheads; improved sound insulation; curtains around sanitary facilities; seats that can be arranged to promote or discourage social, visual, and auditory interaction) can optimize privacy, interpersonal distance, and territoriality within the limitations of the vehicle's payload and construction. Research should also be devoted to the development and evaluation of training programs and other countermeasures that promote individual privacy and territoriality and interpersonal distance. Particular attention should be devoted to the development and evaluation of programs that provide instruction on individual and cultural differences in the need for distance, privacy, and territory and efforts to maintain them. Monotony is another characteristic of isolated and confined environments that will likely influence behavior and performance on long-duration spaceflights. Previous research in analogue settings indicates that the lack of variation in the physical and social environment can result in boredom, loss of energy and concentration, and interpersonal friction. Because it is difficult to change the environment, perception of reduced control may also occur, a situation that is very disturbing to individuals such as astronauts who view themselves as effective agents in controlling their own lives.28 However, additional research is required to determine whether physical monotony intensifies the desire to explore and manipulate elements of the environment during long-duration missions and the conditions under which the desire to test one's abilities can result in the manufacturing of artificial challenges, sometimes by taking unnecessary risks and ignoring familiar safety rules.29 Research on the effects of physical monotony can also contribute to the development of effective countermeasures. This might include, for instance, the design of activities that offer challenge and perhaps excitement without jeopardizing the crew or the mission. "Surprises" could be delivered by resupply flights, or the capsule itself (e.g., on a Mars voyage) might carry research or other tasks, music, reading matter, videotapes, family packages, and so on, to be opened at different points along the mission. The efficacy of such countermeasures should be evaluated in analogue studies before the policy is implemented. There is also a need to develop and evaluate countermeasures that maximize the crew's control over the environment.30 Nonstandard items of clothing, food, recreational materials, and reminders of home are already in use (although their effect has not been systematically studied); in addition it might be possible to let astronauts change color schemes within the capsule (perhaps through projection31), move some pieces of furniture or equipment, and attach items of personal significance or pleasure to the interior. News from and communication with home, and stimulating multimedia resources, can relieve the unchanging ambient stimulus array.32 Natural images—projected scenes, audiotapes, released odors33—might be especially useful, and windows have been found to relieve visual monotony and maintain a sense of contact with Earth.34 We need to study what happens when the view from the window is essentially unchanging and when Earth is not visible. In such cases, the window may become a source of more boredom, and both it and the natural scenes can become sources of loneliness. Long stretches of monotonous unstructured time are likely to be a problem on long-duration missions. Crew members in such environments (e.g., polar crews,35 prisoners in solitary confinement36) can suffer from too much free time. When the team spends many months or years in the environment, leisure periods can become a time of boredom, lassitude, neglected hygiene, and apathy.37 Research is

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--> necessary to develop countermeasures for this problem, such as systematic programs of some sort, whether fitness exercises, study, or hobbies. Group activities of the same sort can also be developed. Recommendations Research on environmental factors should include an examination of the following topics, listed in order of priority: The effects of the physical and psychosocial environment of spacecraft on cognitive, psychophysiological, and affective measures of behavior and performance: Affective and cognitive responses to microgravity-related changes in perceptual and physiological systems; Behavioral responses to perceived risks associated with the space environment (e.g., radiation, contamination of the ambient atmosphere, buildup of debris, use of breathing apparatus and space suits); and Psychosocial predictors of the use and perceived importance of "personal" territories and individual strategies for coping with physical and social monotony. The development and evaluation of countermeasures for mitigating adverse effects of the physical and social environments on individual and group performance: Alternative methods for filling unstructured time such as organized group and individual recreation and leisure activities; Use of novelty or "surprises" in terms of work assignments, recreational materials, and messages/gifts from home to reduce boredom and monotony; Crew training in communication and acceptance of different levels of desired privacy, interpersonal distance, territoriality, and personal disclosure; and Design of spacecraft interiors and amenities to maximize control over the physical environment and reduce impacts of physical monotony on behavior and performance. Psychophysiological Issues Circadian Rhythms and Sleep Sleep is a basic human need that normally occurs in a temporally regular pattern, beginning at night and ceasing with the day. Alteration or disruption of this normal circadian pattern affects sleep duration and may induce a sleep deficit. Lack of sleep contributes to stress and to inefficiency in cognitive and psychomotor performance. Poor sleep and fatigue have been reported on a number of short-duration Shuttle missions as well as long-duration Mir missions. About 30 percent of U.S. Shuttle astronauts have requested sleep medication in-flight, although none had a history of such usage on Earth.38 Under natural conditions, the sleep-wake cycle and other circadian rhythms are synchronized with the period of Earth's rotation by means of periodic factors in Earth's environment. The most important of these zeitgebers are day-night changes in light and temperature.39 Current plans for the International Space Station call for illumination levels ranging from 108 to 538 lux. This is much lower than the 2,500 lux necessary to entrain circadian rhythms in humans.40 Hence, some desynchronization of sleep-wake and other circadian cycles would be expected to occur. There are wide individual performance differences that are dictated by circadian rhythm patterns, ranging from those whose optimal work physiology peaks early in the day to those who can work

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--> efficiently long into the night. These patterns are consistent and are likely to persist in the space environment despite the imposition of a common work schedule. On the other hand, groups in temporal isolation have been found to display synchronous circadian rhythms. 41 42 Research is needed to determine whether it is important to match work groups in circadian pattern for greater crew harmony or whether, perhaps, different types should be distributed in a crew so that someone is always at optimal physiological efficiency. Sleep deprivation has also been commonly reported by personnel working in other ICEs. However, research is required to identify the consequences of sleep disruption. For instance, the inability to concentrate, intellectual inertia, an increase in suggestibility and hypnotizability, and sensory hallucinations reported in laboratory and antarctic studies 43 may be a consequence of sleep disruption or of reduced social and environmental stimulation and increased monotony. Studies of night-shift workers and individuals in temporal isolation have found sleep disruptions to be associated with significant decrements in cognitive performance and increases in tension, depression, anger, and confusion.44 45 A number of theories have been proposed to explain the association between sleep, cognitive performance, and mood, including the phase-advance or phase-shift hypothesis (which postulates that during depression the strong circadian X oscillator—which governs core body temperature, rapid eye movement, sleep propensity, and plasma cortisol secretion—is advanced in its timing relative to the weaker Y oscillator, which modulates the rest-activity cycle, propensity for slow-wave sleep, and plasma growth hormone levels),46 the circadian dysregulation or attenuation hypothesis (which postulates that circadian rhythms in depression are characterized by a loss of power or rhymicity), 47 and the entrainment error hypothesis (which postulates that depression is the result of a lack of temporal stability in the circadian cycle resulting from weakened entrainment to the 24-hour day).48 However, the conditions under which sleep affects or is affected by mood and cognition during a long-duration mission remain to be identified. Studies conducted in-flight, along with ground-based simulations of long-duration missions, offer a unique opportunity to examine the merits of these competing theories and to determine how different circadian systems mediate the association between sleep and performance or well-being. Similarly, research is required to determine whether changes in sleep that occur during long-duration missions are a function of stress, workload, isolation, confinement, the absence of social zeitgebers or other environmental cues (e.g., a 24-hour day-night cycle) that influence circadian rhythms, or other features of the physical environment (microgravity, noise, light, atmosphere). Another issue that should be investigated in the next decade is whether members of space crews experience improved sleep when they are allowed to set their own work-rest schedules or when they are required to adhere to a fixed schedule. During the Soyuz program, when sleep schedules were set counter to the local time of the launch site, cosmonauts experienced some degradation of performance and disturbed sleep.49 Early research under conditions of isolation revealed that human circadian rhythms tend to "free-run" for a period of approximately 25 hours.50 However, further research is required to determine the probability of major dissociations and desynchronizations in circadian systems under uniform or individualized work schedules in an isolated and confined environment and the long-term consequences of such desynchronizations. The environment used in most ground-based research is contrived, work activities set for subjects are often purposeless, and the experimental designs invariably involve solitary confinement without knowledge of time.51 Evidence from analogue settings as to the costs and benefits of allowing personnel to "free-cycle"and set their own schedule versus maintaining a fixed work-rest schedule remains inconclusive.52 53 54 A third issue related to sleep during long-duration missions concerns the long-term effects of sleep deprivation. Evidence from the Antarctic suggests that the restoration of normal sleep patterns, especially Stage IV sleep, may take as long as 2 years for individuals in an isolated and confined environment.55

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--> Similarly, laboratory studies suggest that individuals may unknowingly accumulate very large sleep debts with an associated vulnerability to a decline in performance during periods of monotony and reduced stimulation.56 However, the extent to which differences in individual characteristics (e.g., age, gender, levels of stress, coping styles, personality) or environmental context (e.g., workload, light-darkness, noise) are associated with such accumulation has yet to be determined. The Psychophysiology of Emotion and Stress The data on human emotional reactions involve three primary response systems: (1) language responses, including reports of feelings, evaluative judgments, and expressive communications; (2) behavioral acts such as avoidance, attack, and performance deficits; and (3) alterations of the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary (SAM) system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. These different outputs have unique sensitivities and temporal parameters and can be separately shaped by the environment. Cross-correlations between systems are often low, and a single channel of information one emotion may grossly mislead. It is not uncommon for some individuals, reporting no fear or anxiety when under palpable stress, to nevertheless show marked, sustained sympathetic activation of the HPA axis. In this context, the physiological marker may be the better predictor of future behavioral disturbances and performance inefficiency. Furthermore, it is important to consider that the psychological meaning of physiological changes is not obvious or always consistent with common assumptions. For example, heart rate (a measure often taken during spaceflight) decreases (not increases) when organisms orient to threatening stimuli. Physiological data must always be interpreted in the context of their collection, with reference to focal stimuli, tasks being performed, social and physical environment, and related verbal and behavioral responses. Understanding the emotional significance of physiological data depends on careful research in the applied settings of interest. Research on the psychophysiology of stress and emotion in the general population suggests that the alterations in the HPA axis likely to occur during long-duration missions, as described in Chapter 9, may also have significant impacts on mood and memory.57 However, the precise nature of these mechanisms and the extent to which they affect other aspects of performance, including cognition, emotion, and social interactions, remain to be determined. For instance, relatively pronounced HPA activation is common in depression, but it is unclear whether HPA activation causes or results from depressed affect. Studies in-flight will be required to identify the cognitive and affective correlates of hormonal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and other physiological changes that represent alterations of the HPA axis and the direction of causality of such associations. Considerable research has been conducted on the use of flight simulators for training and evaluation,58 but there is a dearth of psychophysiological data from this setting. It has been shown that media representations and simulated stress situations involving anger, fear, or anxiety generate physiological patterns of response similar to those occasioned in the actual context.59 This suggests that much could be learned from psychophysiological studies of simulated stressful missions that might then be used in the development of effective countermeasures. For example, does the crew's preflight physiological state predict the probability of crew conflict, social interaction problems, and poor performance? Are there physiological markers during the mission that augur reduction in crew efficiency (error proneness, inattention, etc.) that could prompt early preventive remediation? Most psychophysiological research uses average responses of many subjects and many trials with the same stimulus event within the experimental session to isolate weak but important signals in naturally noisy biological systems. Although this technique is suitable for defining general psychological

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--> principles, it is less useful in telling us about persisting individual characteristics. Lacey observed that physiological stress response patterns differ among individuals.60 That is, one subject's arousal reaction may involve strong cardiac rate increases, whereas the cardiovascular reaction of another subject may be more strongly reflected in blood pressure. Similarly, some subjects show clear changes in sudomotor systems in response to any stimulus input; for others, the skin conductance response may be totally absent. These idiosyncratic patterns, particularly their stability over time, have not received extensive study with modern methods of measurement and analysis. Where the performance of specific crew members is the concern, the understanding of these unique signatures is a key goal. To fill in this data gap, we need more studies that look at the organization and stability of response patterns in individuals over periods of weeks or months. It is particularly important to evaluate physiological patterns that are reactions to defined, repeatable stressors (e.g., physical threat, social stress) and to meaningful tasks. Problem features of the space environment will need to be included in the stimulus array being tested (e.g., confined environment, small-crew interactions). Eventually, these experiments should be conducted in space so that the physiological effects of microgravity can be made part of the equation. As detailed in Chapters 5 and 8, weightlessness involves gross changes in cardiovascular and neurological functioning. Many crew members report that these physiological events are highly unpleasant, and they show related, significant performance deficits. An effort should be made to assess individual differences in reactions to these physical stressors prior to the actual experience of space. Stern and colleagues, for example, have investigated reactions to bodily rotation and the reactions of a stationary subject within a rotating optokinetic drum (which fills the visual field).61 The latter produces symptoms of motion sickness like those found in space. The electrogastrogram—a noninvasive method for measuring changes in stomach and intestinal motility—can be used to measure smaller and anticipatory autonomic nervous system (ANS) reactions that predict more severe motion sickness. It is important to study parallels in cardiovascular and psychomotor patterns and to see if there are common characteristics of emotional temperament that correlate with this form of distress.62 The effectiveness of biofeedback and other behavioral coping strategies in reducing these patterns and their effect on performance should also be explored. Psychophysiological Measurement in Space Psychophysiological measurement is most meaningful in the context of a clearly defined stimulus and a focused task demand. For the busy astronaut, mission projects need to be analyzed to identify natural assessment tasks. This might be instrument monitoring or motor control requirements embedded in regular maintenance activities, or in recreational interactions with the computer (e.g., competitive games), by individuals or groups. The following measures are potentially sensitive to psychological stress, mood, motivation, and attention.63 The current technology is adaptable for use outside the laboratory. However, a continuous effort should be made to develop instrumentation that is more portable, nonintrusive and natural on the body, and robust in the space environment. This is an important engineering goal that NASA should support. Heart rate and variability, electrocardiograph (EKG) waveform, pulse volume. Heart rate tends to decrease in characteristic ways with attention to external stimuli. Heart rate changes are also associated with emotional reactivity, being modulated differently by affective valence and motivational intensity. Spectral analyses of interbeat interval distributions permit an estimation of vagal tone and autonomic

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--> Innovative qualitative data collection and analysis methods should be employed in examining the influence of organizational macrocultures and space crew microcultures on individual and group behavior and performance. Such methods have been found to be useful in studying microcultures in analogue settings160 and include participant observation, nondirected interviews, pile-sort tasks, and cultural consensus modeling. Mission Duration Despite the general consensus that long-duration missions represent a qualitatively different experience in terms of behavior and performance from missions of short duration, it is unclear whether mission duration is a significant predictor of performance and behavior. For instance, several studies of small groups in isolated undersea research labs and space simulation studies have reported significant increases in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and group hostility over time. 161 These results have supported the hypothesis that ICE settings influence human behavior in a linear dose-response manner such that the longer the exposure, the more significant are the decrements. Other studies have been used to support the hypothesis that decrements in performance under these environmental conditions occur in stages. 162 163 Rohrer described three stages of reaction to isolation and confinement: (1) an initial period of heightened anxiety related to perceived danger during the first few days of a mission; (2) a prolonged period of boredom and depression; and (3) a period of anticipation during the end of a mission characterized by hypomanic affect and increased aggression and hostility.164 Bechtel and Berning described the "third quarter phenomenon" in which performance is likely to decline during the third quarter of a mission in an isolated and confined environment regardless of the total duration of the mission itself.165 Other studies have reported no significant decrements in behavior and performance during long-duration missions in analogue settings.166 Still other studies have reported an improvement in performance over time.167 In the Mir simulator study described previously, there was significantly less total mood disturbance and overall crew tension during the last half of the seclusion than during the first half, and a dramatic reduction in mood disturbance and anxiety occurred after a resupply event in which the crew received additional food and equipment as well as letters of support from family and friends. 168 Management There is a need to identify the managerial requirements for long-duration missions and the necessary steps for management structures to transition from short-duration to long-duration mission operations. One of the important management functions of the organizations involved in long-duration missions is the scheduling and monitoring of tasks performed in-flight. Identifying the optimum amount of work that can and should be performed during long-duration missions is important for a number of reasons. Evidence from previous short-duration missions has pointed to the potentially adverse impacts of scheduling too many tasks within the time available. These impacts have included conflicts between astronauts and ground control personnel, refusal to perform assigned tasks, fatigue, sleep deprivation, a decline in cognitive performance, and an increase in negative affect.169 On the other hand, evidence from long-duration missions and analogue environments suggests that a lack of sufficient amounts of meaningful and productive tasks can result in boredom, producing many of the same symptoms associated with overwork.170 Individual and group performance may also be affected when disparities in workload occur among crew members, such that some are given too much to do and others are not given enough to do during a long-duration mission.

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--> The microgravity environment is another key component of workload and the scheduling of tasks to be performed during long-duration missions. Despite the wealth of experience in working in such environments and the opportunities to develop task schedules based on their performance in simulators, the inability to perform tasks in the allotted time remains a chronic problem. Many astronauts attribute this to the inadequate consideration given by management to the challenge of performing these tasks in a microgravity environment and to individual variation in the time required to complete certain tasks. However, it remains unclear whether these concerns are justified or reflect the lack of communication and understanding between space crews and ground control described above. Similarly, space crews may estimate the time required to perform certain tasks in-flight differently from estimates made on the ground because of distortions in temporal perception caused by characteristics of the environment.171 Further research is required to determine the organizational requirements for developing realistic schedules for operations in space and on the ground, and the impact of such schedules on the management of long-duration missions. Further research is also required to determine the organizational impacts of giving space crews more control over the scheduling of tasks. Another management issue relates to the formal distribution of authority and tasks during long-duration missions. Although issues relating to leadership, task assignment, and decision making have been addressed above in the section on interpersonal factors, they are also relevant here because NASA, other national space agencies, and other organizations involved in long-duration missions all possess formal definitions of organizational positions and specify the relationship of one position to another. Associated with each position is a set of expectations that define certain behaviors as either essential, admissible, or unacceptable.172 The organizational structure of authority, decision making, and task assignment developed for short-duration missions may have little relevance for the organizational needs of long-duration missions. For instance, the traditional organizational structure that separated space crews into "pilots" and "scientists" or "payload specialists" and the distribution of authority, decision making, and task assignments based on this distinction may have little relevance for the effective management of long-duration missions. Similarly, the conditions under which authority structures, decision-making processes, and task assignments result in interpersonal and crew-ground control conflicts during long-duration missions may be quite different from the conditions leading to conflict during short-duration missions. Recommendations Research on the organizational influences on behavior and performance during long-duration missions should include an examination of the following issues: The extent to which participating agencies and personnel representing these agencies share similar systems of knowledge, attitudes, and behavior regarding mission operations, goals, and objectives; how these systems are organized; and how they influence individual and group performance and behavior; Whether changes in behavior and performance are associated with mission duration or specific periods during the course of a mission; what form this association assumes if it does occur; and whether the implementation of countermeasures should correspond to these specific periods; and The requirements for effective management of long-duration missions as they relate to the following: Task scheduling;

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Part IV Research Priorities and Programmatic Issues

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