NASA SBIR 01-1 Solicitation

FORM 9B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: B3.03-8281 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 013718 )
PROPOSAL TITLE:
Reducing Symptomatology of Space Adaptation Syndrome through Perceptual Training

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The ?space adaptation syndrome? develops in conditions in which nauseogenic stimuli are present for a long period of time. The perceptual situation of an astronaut exposed to unusual gravitational-inertial forces is similar to ones found in experiments involving perceptual rearrangement. In both situations, an observer is confronted with a variety of sensory conflicts that initially disrupt perception and behavior and may cause nausea. Likewise, in both situations most people reveal an ability to adapt to these imposed conflicts and the disruptive responses are reduced or eliminated. Thus, overcoming motion sickness, correcting performance, and regaining normal perception in space may involve many of the same processes as adaptation to perceptual rearrangement in general. In this Phase I research, we propose to run studies in which graded motion sickness is induced through the systematic distortion of the relevant characteristics of a VR device, exposure is repeated until adaptation is attained, and then, generalization of this adaptation is tested in a related but different device?an (OKN) Drum. Through this process we hope to achieve the major goal of this research which is to develop a paradigm for reducing the symptoms of space motion sickness through perceptual training on a virtual reality device.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
In recent years the possibility that space motion sickness might interfere with performance has been a major concern. As the word "interfere" suggests, the concern has been that space motion sickness might interrupt ongoing activities, e.g. as frank emesis does. An additional concern is that nausea as a negative reinforcer might lead to responses that could, in principle, be performed long after motion sickness proper had subsided. The responses most likely to be affected are head and eye movements. It is possible that these learned nausea-avoidance responses continue to affect an astronaut?s performance adversely although he or she may have no direct awareness of their presence. Based on recent studies with visual reality (VR) devices conducted in our laboratory we are able to produce systematic and replicable changes in the incidence and severity of motion sickness symptomatology among participants. With our ability to do so, we believe that we can develop a training technique or paradigm for the transfer of adaptation from other conditions which produce motion sickness and which have relevance for business, industry, the military and the private sector.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Robert Kennedy
RSK Assessments, Inc.
1040 Woodcock Road, Suite 227
Orlando , FL   32803 - 3510

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
RSK Assessments, Inc.
1040 Woodcock Road, Suite 227
Orlando , FL   32803 - 3510


Form Printed on 06-19-01 15:44