Public Release: 

Brain Reprograms Quickly For Altered Gravity Environments

Brandeis University

The Graybiel Laboratory at Brandeis University features one of the few low-gravity experimental chambers in the United States. Using centrifugal force to mimic a low-gravity environment, the laboratory's rotating room is a test site for NASA and other studies of how the human brain and body adjust to different gravities.

"You would think Earth gravity would be hard-wired into the nervous system -- after all, it's been constant since we evolved," said DiZio. "But the human brain is remarkably good at re-learning how to control the body when gravity changes and the old rules of force and motion and mass don't work anymore."

Directed motions such as pointing, grabbing, walking across a room at a certain speed, and responding to auditory cues for motion all are affected by changes in gravity.

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