Finally! The testing has started! We’re getting data!
Last week, I got to complete a round of testing. Though this didn’t involve the fNIRS setup (lasers), it did utilize an EEG, or electroencephalography (pronounced with a sneeze).
The EEG that we have involves sensors in little watch battery size capsules that have small electrodes touching the scalp, and they are attached to a hair net – like cap. The cap is then cinched onto my head. The senors record electrical impulses that the brain gives off, and transfer that data into a software package on a computer.
To get a good connection between my scalp and the electrodes inside the sensors, Terry used a solution made up of potassium chloride, water, and baby shampoo, you heard right…BABY SHAMPOO. For the rest of the day, I smelled like a baby! (…all in the name of science, right?)
The image below is the EEG setup using the pitch – roll seat and a baby shampoo smelling guinea pig…me!
Resting was the same as with the fNIRS test from the previous post. Though, this time instead of thinking of floating on the ISS, I was thinking of cruising in an F104 Starfighter (Kelly Johnson, look him up).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-104_Starfighter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_L._Johnson
Yes, believe it or not, that is relaxing to me.
Then came the finger tapping test that I completed before, using the fNIRS.
After that, word association. Again, same as the previous exercise using the fNIRS.
Then came some FUN! We fired up the simulator and the seat. I was tasked with flying an ultralight through a series of gates. This wasn’t that intense of a task considering the simulated ultralight doesn’t need crisp control actions. It’s what I call “lazy flying.” Nice and slow flying with subdued control inputs.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultralight_aviation
There were 3 gates that varied in elevation and required me to increase and decrease power using the throttle. That was a fun test, primarily because it not only supplied data from a test subject that was flying using the simulator, but also because the gates were located at Edwards Air Force Base!http://www.edwards.af.mil/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwards_Air_Force_Base
Finally, the black box task. Ughhh, those black squares…
I think that this was a better test then all of the others. I was really forced to concentrate for this task, making sure that I don’t tap the key, that I tap the key. Sounds simple, right? Ha! Don’t forget about your eyes, your muscles, your body. I was sitting in one position for 20+ minutes looking at one area in my field – of – view, trying not to blink when the squares appeared, and blinking when I just pressed or not pressed the key. Awesome test, but boy was that ANNOYING. But nothing gets annoying more than this: I MISSED ONE! I pressed the key when I should not have!! (*..insert sigh here*).
All in all, it was great to get the first official test knocked out. I hope that Angela can get some good data from all those tasks.
Below is a pic I took right after the test…remember…I smelled like baby shampoo when i took this pic! I’d like to thank Angela and Terry for making me look like this for the rest of the day…