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Bed rest and cognition: effects on executive functioning and reaction time

Lipnicki, Darren M., Gunga, Hanns-Christian, Belavý, Daniel L. and Felsenberg, Dieter 2009, Bed rest and cognition: effects on executive functioning and reaction time, Aviation, space, and environmental medicine, vol. 80, no. 12, pp. 1018-1024, doi: 10.3357/ASEM.2581.2009.

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Title Bed rest and cognition: effects on executive functioning and reaction time
Author(s) Lipnicki, Darren M.
Gunga, Hanns-Christian
Belavý, Daniel L.ORCID iD for Belavý, Daniel L. orcid.org/0000-0002-9307-832X
Felsenberg, Dieter
Journal name Aviation, space, and environmental medicine
Volume number 80
Issue number 12
Start page 1018
End page 1024
Total pages 7
Publisher Aerospace Medical Association
Place of publication Alexandria, Va.
Publication date 2009-12
ISSN 0095-6562
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Medicine, General & Internal
Sport Sciences
General & Internal Medicine
PUBLIC, ENVIRONMENTAL & OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH, SCI
executive functions
Iowa Gambling Task
microgravity
physical activity
spaceflight
weightlessness
PERFORMANCE
VARIABILITY
HEART
EXERCISE
BRAIN
Summary INTRODUCTION: Executive functions are high-order aspects of cognition heavily dependent upon the prefrontal cortex. Both prefrontal cortex activity and executive function task performance are enhanced by participation in aerobic physical activity, suggesting that a lack of such activity during the bed rest model of prolonged weightlessness might induce executive function deficits. METHODS: Twenty-four healthy males (ages 21-45 yr) undertook 60 d of head-down bed rest (-6 degrees) for the 2nd Berlin Bed Rest Study (BBR2-2). Three executive function tasks (Iowa Gambling Task, working memory, and flanker) and a reaction time task were administered before, during, and after bed rest. RESULTS: Iowa Gambling Task scores were significantly worse during bed rest (1.7 +/- 6.9) than in other sessions (24.3 +/- 7.8). Effects on working memory and flanker task performance were less obvious, requiring practice effects to be considered. Reaction time was significantly slower after bed rest (569 +/- 42 ms) than in earlier tests (529 +/- 45 ms). There was also significantly less intrasubject variability in reaction time after bed rest, consistent with more efficient executive functioning at this stage. DISCUSSION: Our results provide some evidence for a detrimental effect of bed rest on executive functioning. Whether this stems from a lack of aerobic physical activity and/or changes in the prefrontal cortex remains to be determined. Cognitive effects of bed rest could have implications for the planned human exploration of Mars, and for medical and lifestyle conditions with inadequate levels of aerobic physical activity.
Language eng
DOI 10.3357/ASEM.2581.2009
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2009, Aerospace Medical Association
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30071012

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.