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The Brain In Space

Who wants to travel into space? I do! We are approaching a time when, for the right price, interested parties can enter low-Earth orbit and temporarily taste space. But what does professional spaceflight entail? How does space travel impact the brain? Does radiation affect cognitive function, and, if so, what would be the effects of travelling to Mars? What are the psychological consequences of spending lengthy periods of time in space?  In this lecture, we will look at the science of space travel, beginning with documented changes in general physiology and moving to explore consequences for the brain. We will consider the findings of NASA's Neurolab and then examine recent research such as that investigating the effects of spaceflight on neurocognitive performance and how astronauts' brains change shape during space missions. For all those who would like to leave the planet, if only in their imagination!

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