Broadcast 2424 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

27 Feb 2015 Dr. John Putman
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Guest: John Putman. Topics: Neurofeedback and EEG to improve peak performance in both short & long duration spaceflight. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See For those listening to archives using and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience. We welcomed John Putman to the show to discussed neurofeedback in the context of astronaut peak performance training for both long and short duration spaceflight missions. During the first segment of our 1 hour 26 minute program, Mr. Putman explained biofeedback and the specifics of neurofeedback, neuro-diagnostics and electroencephalography (EEG). He also explained the linkage of this research to astronauts for both long and short duration human spaceflight missions. Much of our fist segment provided the groundwork for our discussion, addressing the fight or flight response which is automatic, sensorimotor rhythm (SMR), and more. Our guest explained how the training is conducted and how it works. Also discussed was seizure disorder and space adaptation syndrome (space sickness). Listeners had many questions for our guest including if it was being applied to or made part of suborbital flight training for participants. Beverly wanted to know if astronauts would have time to do this type of training given how their schedules are planned. Microgravity came up and John spoke to the fact that humans were 1g and it was simply not known what type of effects would befall humans in prolonged microgravity, up to ten years or more, even with some artificial gravity for mitigation. As the result of another listener question, John spoke to the fact that the Moon was much closer, only three days away and possibly a good training ground for understanding microgravity, neurofeedback in space and more. Michael Listner called to support Mr. Putman's comments and then he brought up the Mars One project which both John and Michael discussed for a few minutes. As the segment was about to end, a listener asked if the astronauts would be too "macho" to do neurofeedback training. John said it was actually peak performance training & that much had changed today so he did not see attitude as a problem. He even cited training feedback with Edwards AFB test pilots and the need to disengage from your stressful activity. BJohn got in a question about rotation and artificial gravity and Kelly called from Phoenix to inquire about the training and its impact on fluid redistribution related to microgravity. In the second segment, BJohn led off with another question about using the training to overcome sensitivity to bad smells thinking about sulfur on Mars as a possible example. John was also asked about integrating neurofeedback training into missions using newly designed hardware such as the Dragon V2, Orion, CST`100, and Dream Chaser. We talked about technology improvements and the likelihood of soon being able to do some of the training on a small device such as a smartphone. I asked John about other space agencies doing astronaut training in this area. He mentioned ESA as well as the Dept. of Defense and athletes interested in peak performance training. Joan asked him about ISS experiments. He said none yet and explained the difficult challenges he has had as a small business getting an experiment on the ISS. We talked about possible gender and race differences but he said there were none and then we talked about sleep loss and how the training mitigates that problem. John also talked about NASA, I asked about any interest by private space companies such as Bigelow and SpaceX, plus I asked if there had been an experiments with the Navy and submarines. Visit his websites, and for more information. Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.



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