A Prescreening Methodology for Proactively Reducing Human Error Proneness 2004-01-2486
Human performance deterioration in extreme conditions challenges the viability of critical scenarios during a space mission. Exposure to space flight environment, including microgravity appears to increase the stress on the sensory-motor controls regulatory system in the brain because it is calibrated to operate under gravity.
Any pre-existing central dysfunction can allow an input overload which can cascade to and alter other related functions down the functional hierarchy, such as physical (fine postural control, coordination and dexterity, strength, reaction time, fatigue, space perception/orientation) cognitive(trajectory control, attention and vigilance, time awareness, decision making, concentration, and memory), and emotional (motivation, self-control, calmness/aggressiveness). This phenomenon has direct influence on an individual’s tendency for “error proneness”. An objective and reproducible assessment and measurement methodology based on 18 years of observation and experience in medical neurophysiology allows pre-mission detection of such dysfunction. Paradigms, sensory-motor regulatory controls mechanisms, key test parameters, and clinical application are reviewed and briefly discussed.