Noise characteristics in spaceflight multichannel EEG.

Abstract

The cognitive performance of the crew has a major impact on mission safety and success in space flight. Monitoring of cognitive performance during long-duration space flight therefore is of paramount importance and can be performed using compact state-of-the-art mobile EEG. However, signal quality of EEG may be compromised due to the vicinity to various electronic devices and constant movements. We compare noise characteristics between in-flight extraterrestrial microgravity and ground-level terrestrial electroencephalography (EEG) recordings. EEG data recordings from either aboard International Space Station (ISS) or on earth's surface, utilizing three EEG amplifiers and two electrode types, were compared. In-flight recordings showed noise level of an order of magnitude lower when compared to pre- and post-flight ground-level recordings with the same EEG system. Noise levels between ground-level recordings with actively shielded cables, and in-flight recordings without shielded cables, were similar. Furthermore, noise level characteristics of shielded ground-level EEG recordings, using wet and dry electrodes, and in-flight EEG recordings were similar. Actively shielded mobile dry EEG systems will support neuroscientific research and neurocognitive monitoring during spaceflight, especially during long-duration space missions

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