Nevin Manimala Statistics

Ocular counter-roll is less affected in experienced versus novice space crew after long-duration spaceflight

NPJ Microgravity. 2022 Jul 20;8(1):27. doi: 10.1038/s41526-022-00208-5.


Otoliths are the primary gravity sensors of the vestibular system and are responsible for the ocular counter-roll (OCR). This compensatory eye torsion ensures gaze stabilization and is sensitive to a head roll with respect to gravity and the Gravito-Inertial Acceleration vector during, e.g., centrifugation. To measure the effect of prolonged spaceflight on the otoliths, we quantified the OCR induced by off-axis centrifugation in a group of 27 cosmonauts in an upright position before and after their 6-month space mission to the International Space Station. We observed a significant decrease in OCR early postflight, larger for first-time compared to experienced flyers. We also found a significantly larger torsion for the inner eye, the eye closest to the rotation axis. Our results suggest that experienced cosmonauts have acquired the ability to adapt faster after G-transitions. These data provide a scientific basis for sending experienced cosmonauts on challenging missions that include multiple g-level transitions.

PMID:35858981 | DOI:10.1038/s41526-022-00208-5

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