Degraded EEG response of the human brain in function of gravity levels by the method of chaotic attractor
Faculty of Sciences. Mathematics and Computer Science
Engineering sciences. Technology
Acta astronautica. - Oxford
, p. 581-589
University of Antwerp
The measurement of the influence of different gravity levels on the brain allows to explain how humans react to microgravity in space and to predict the adaptation capability of astronauts. Human electroencephalographic (EEG) signals were recorded during low and high gravity phases of three consecutive days of parabolic flights on the Caravelle aircraft in 1991. EEG signals were processed, using the method of correlation dimensions d of chaotic strange attractors. Results show clear differences between the three flights, with a general decrease over time in the attractor dimensions, a measure of the brain response to changing g levels. However, the dimension is not a one-to-one relation with g levels, as additional variations are observed. Two hypotheses are introduced, the "fatigue/stress" and the "g stress" hypotheses corresponding, respectively, to long-term fatigue accumulated over the three flights, and to short-term fatigue in response to change in g levels. The former explains the overall decrease of dimensions, the latter yields additional variations on shorter time scales. As the brain response degrades with time, at least six degraded modes were observed, explained by both short- and long-term fatigue. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.