Monitoring Mental Fatigue in Analog Space Environment Using Optical Brain Imaging


Accurate assessment of mental fatigue level would improve operational safety and efficacy of astronauts for long-term space flight. Identification of neurophysiological markers can index impending overload or fatigue before performance decrements using neuroimaging technologies. The current study utilized functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIR) to investigate the relationship of hemodynamic response in prefrontal cortex with changes of mental fatigue level, task performance (reaction time) during n-back working memory task and routine work task in analog space environment. Results indicated that the information entropy of hemodynamic response is related to task performance and subjective self-reported measures; the reaction time is predicted by regression analysis; and the accuracy of mental fatigue classification approaches 90%. Since fNIR is a portable, wearable and minimally intrusive methodology, it has the potential to be deployed in future space environments to monitoring mental fatigue and assessing the effort of operators in field environments.

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X. J. Jiao, J. Bai, S. G. Chen and Q. J. Li, "Monitoring Mental Fatigue in Analog Space Environment Using Optical Brain Imaging," Engineering, Vol. 5 No. 5B, 2013, pp. 53-57. doi: 10.4236/eng.2013.55B011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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