NASA SBIR 01-II Solicitation

FORM 9B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: B3.03-8281 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 013718 )
PHASE-I CONTRACT: NAS2-02016
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. The perceptual situation of an astronaut exposed to unusual gravitational-inertial forces has been compared to that found in experiments involving perceptual rearrangement, such as optically induced displacement, curvature, tilt, or right-left reversal. In both instances, the observer is confronted with a variety of inter- and intra-sensory conflicts that initially disrupt perception and behavior and may cause nausea. However, people are able to adapt to these imposed conflicts, as manifested in a reduction or elimination of the initial disruptive responses. Overcoming motion sickness and regaining normal perception may involve many of the same processes as adaptation to perceptual rearrangement in general. Our Phase I research demonstrated that adaptation training is beneficial as it reduces dizziness and motion sickness symptoms experienced in both VR and OKN environments. In Phase II research, we propose to run studies to test further the effects of adaptation training on sickness by inducing motion sickness in a VR device with an added ?reafference? component. Phase II research will also involve refining and replicating Phase I findings, broadening the aftereffect conditions to which adaptation applies (sickness, posture, eye hand coordination, changes)

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 through software changes we are able to rapidly reconfigure VR hardware and thereby 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 device and 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 - 3566

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
RSK Assessments, Inc.
1040 Woodcock Road, Suite 227
Orlando , FL   32803 - 3566


Form Printed on 05-09-02 16:37