Tested technology to monitor the brain activity of Martian colonists

How do you know that person is so tired that he should not continue working? This will help the new technology, tested in a “Mars base”. The development will be useful not only to astronauts but also surgeons and other responsible professions.

it is well Known that after a long hard work of a person is dulled attention and thinking, he often gets distracted and makes mistakes. It’s called cognitive fatigue. It can be costly if it is, say, about the driver, surgeon or astronaut.How to measure cognitive fatigue and time to understand that it is time to rest? Recently there have been only two methods. The first is to perform the test task, the results of which specialist can assess the attention and other functions. But it’s hard to imagine, say, a surgeon who in the middle of the operation suddenly fails to solve some puzzles. The second is to rely on subjective feelings. This method is even worse: people

the Landscape of this area of Hawaii is reminiscent of the Martian.Photo from hi-seas.org.

a team of researchers from the University of Victoria in Canada is developing a methodology to assess cognitive fatigue, based on electroencephalography (EEG). First, it is an objective measure. And secondly, the measurement of brain activity does not distract the man from continuing operations.

Neuroscientists for a long time studying how the time wave changes are reflected in the work of perception, attention, memory, and processes of learning and decision-making caused by cognitive fatigue, depression or stress.

Initially the new technology was tested on players of video games. Now scientists decided to test it in conditions “close to combat”.

To do this, members of the research team went to the base HI-SEAS. It is located in a wilderness on the slope of a volcano in Hawaii. The landscape there and in fact resembles MarcyAnsky.

the Seven-day expedition with great care simulated interplanetary journey. The project participants lived on a rigid schedule, which provided, in particular, eight-minute shower in a week (water on the red planet will be in short supply). The diet consisted of freeze-dried products. Outside the station, participants only appeared in spacesuits and air are received from cylinders behind “astronauts”. In the communication “with the Earth” were simulated 20 minute delay (about as much need to signal twice to cover interplanetary distances).

Easy wearable device reads EEG experiment participants.Photo Olave Krigolson.

All this time at the head of neuroscientists-“colonists” was the Muse EEG headset. It is a lightweight wearable device for removing EEG, it is freely available. Before starting the experiment, the experts have tested it and found that the device creates an EEG of good quality.

Experts have also developed an application for iOS that measure cognitive fatigue these data. By the way, the system is a five-minute recording of brain activity.

the Experiment was a complete success. The program has identified a clear cognitive fatigue of the subjects at the end of each day. Moreover, it is, as expected, accumulated to the end of the week.

Now, the developers hope to use their brainchild to monitor cognitive fatigue individuals of different professions. Also, it will be used in the diagnosis of concussions and neurodegenerative diseases. First as in some cases it is extremely difficult to identify, and the second requires the earliest possible diagnosis.

By the way, earlier “Conduct.Science” wrote about the tests of the system to control robots on “Mars base” in the Arctic, as well as “branch of Mars,” for researchers and tourists.

Text: News.Science