Autonomous Behavioral Countermeasures for Spaceflight

The goal of this project is provide individuals in isolated and confined environments (like spaceflight) with tools to reduce conflict, relieve stress, and treat depression. The project has two components: (1) the “Virtual Space Station” suite of interactive-media-based computer programs that address interpersonal conflict and depression and (2) virtual reality natural scenes to aid relaxation by immersion in nature. Crew members will use the programs during different phases of their stay. The research team is interested in the crew’s reactions to the content, both positive and negative, so the content can be customized for people living in space. Evaluations will consist of data from the programs, survey questionnaires, and structured interviews at the end of the isolation period. This evaluation in the isolated and confined HI-SEAS environment provides a unique opportunity to assess the program with people who are experiencing an environment similar to long-duration spaceflight. Behavioral health problems are common on Earth, and these programs and technologies could be useful in many Earth settings as well.

Contact: Jay C. Buckey, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.