Cognitive functioning in long-duration head-down bed rest

Kimberly A. Seaton, Kelley J. Slack, Walter A. Sipes, Kendra E. Bowie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Introduction: I his report is one ot a series on the Flight Analog Project, which is designed to lay the groundwork for a standard bed rest protocol. The Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) is a self-administered battery of tests used on the International Space Station for evaluating cognitive functioning. Here, WinSCAT was used to assess cognitive functioning during extended head-down bed rest. Methods: There were 13 subjects who participated in 60 or 90 d of head-down bed rest and took WinSCAT during the pre-bed rest phase, the in-bed rest phase, and the post-bed rest (reconditioning) phase of study participation. Results: After adjusting for individual baseline performance, 12 off-nominal scores were observed out of 351 total observations during bed rest and 7 of 180 during reconditioning. No evidence was found for systematic changes in off-nominal incidence as time in bed rest progressed, or during the reconditioning period. Discussion: Cognitive functioning does not appear to be adversely affected by long- duration head-down bed rest. Individual differences in underlying cognitive ability and motivation level are likely explanations for the current findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A62-A65
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number5 PART 2
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive function assessment tool
  • Spaceflight
  • WinSCAT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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