UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA MEDIA ADVISORY
Nov. 26, 2019
This is your brain on Mars
On Dec. 1, an all-Canadian, multi-university research team will be entering the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Mars Habitat to test and validate if a new technology using mobile EEG (electroencephalography) will be an effective and reliable way to monitor astronauts’ brain function and fatigue during missions in outer space.
During the one-week simulation in the HI-SEAS Mars Habitat on the Mauna Loa side of the Big Island of Hawaii, the crew of scientists will wear the EEG devices themselves and track changes in their memory, decision-making, learning, attention and perception.
The research project is co-led by Olav Krigolson, neuroscientist and associate director of UVic’s Centre for Biomedical Research, along with scientists from UBC’s Okanagan Campus (Gordon Binsted), University of Calgary (Kent Hecker), University of Hawaii and International MoonBase Alliance (Michaela Musilova), with two UVic PhD students (Tom Ferguson and Chad Williams).
Their findings could also have wide-ranging impacts on people in many occupations who face long work hours and require critical decision-making skills, including emergency room physicians, pilots or heavy equipment operators.
Once the mission starts, UVic researchers will be posting daily reports and their brain performance data to the project blog at destinationmars.ca, and to UVic social media channels including @universityofvictoria on Instagram and @uvic on Twitter.
Dr. Olav Krigolson is the Associate Director for the Centre for Biomedical Research, an Associate Professor in Neuroscience, and the Principle Investigator of the Theoretical and Applied Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Victoria.