Back to Journals » Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment » Volume 11

Effects of prolonged head-down bed rest on working memory

Authors Liu Q, Zhou R, Zhao X, Oei T

Received 23 October 2014

Accepted for publication 5 December 2014

Published 26 March 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 835—842

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S76292

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang


Qing Liu,1,2 Renlai Zhou,1–4 Xin Zhao,5 Tian Po S Oei6

1Beijing Key Lab of Applied Experimental Psychology, School of Psychology, 2Research Center of Emotion Regulation, 3State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, International Data Group/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Psychology, School of Social and Behavioral Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing, People’s Republic of China; 5Behavior Rehabilitation Training Research Institution, School of Psychology, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou, People’s Republic of China; 6School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Background: The weightlessness caused by prolonged bed rest results in changes in cerebral circulation and thus, brain functions, which is of interest.
Methods: We investigated the effects of 45-day, -6° head-down bed rest, which stimulated microgravity, on working memory in 16 healthy male participants. The 2-back task was used to test the working memory variations on the 2nd day before bed rest (R-2); on the 11th (R11), 20th (R20), 32nd (R32), and 40th (R40) days of bed rest; and on the eighth day after bed rest (R+8). The cognitive response and the physiological reactivity (such as galvanic skin response, heart rate, and heart rate variability) under the 2-back task were recorded simultaneously.
Results: The results showed that compared with R-2, on the R+8, the participants’ galvanic skin response increased significantly, and the high frequency of heart rate variability (HF), low frequency of heart rate variability (LF), and reaction time in the 2-back task decreased significantly. There were positive correlations between the participants’ reaction time of working memory and the LF/HF under head-down bed rest (at R11, R20, and R32).
Conclusion: The results suggested that the prolonged head-down bed rest may have a detrimental effect on individual physiology and working memory. Physiology indices, such as galvanic skin response and heart rate variability, were sensitive to the prolonged bed rest.

Keywords: galvanic skin response, heart rate, heart rate variability


Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]