Mental state and ANS – Programmed Research

  1. A01-1
  2. A01-2
  3. A01-3
  4. A02-1
  5. A02-2
  6. A02-3
  7. A02-4
  8. A02-5
  9. A03-1
  10. A03-2
  11. A03-3
Research Subject A02-3 Elucidation of a Homeostatic Control Mechanism of a Mental State and the Autonomic Nervous System under Unexpected Stress
Research Group Leader
Ichiyo Matsuzaki
Research Group Members
  • Shinichiro Sasahara
    Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba
  • Yuichi Oi
    Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba
  • Yasuhito Hirai
    Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba
  • Tamaki Saito
    Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba
  • Natsuhiko Inoue
    Associate Senior Researcher, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency(JAXA)

International collaboration has steadily advanced the International Space Station (ISS) Program. Thus, it is no surprise that Japanese astronauts are among the long-term crewmembers stationed on the ISS. The ISS environment has various constraints – those attributable to the natural environment, such as microgravity, cosmic rays, and radiation, as well as available technologies on the ISS, such as low illuminance levels, artificial day-and-night cycles, vibrations, and noises. These constraints force astronauts to endure life in a stressful environment. The adaptation mechanism to such a confinement is currently unknown.

In this research, which is conducted in close collaboration with researchers of other Programmed Research (see Figure below), aims to create a new paradigm for stress research focusing on the environment in Space as a field of experiments for unexpected phenomena. Specifically, we will:
1) Systematically review studies about psychological and physical adaptation of astronauts stationed in Space for prolonged periods as well as those about the psychological and physical stresses in catastrophic accidents and disasters, to narrow down the variables of environmental factors.
2) Conduct adaptation experiments with a prolonged confinement in conjunction with the Research Management Group using the environmental factor variables elucidated in 1). Obtain objective data about biological adaptation processes using non-invasive wearable optical topography devices, and compare our findings with the results of other Programmed Research.