Course Title: CE Workshop 12 - The Brain in Space: Implications for Human Explorations of Mars and Human Conditions on Earth (Dotson/Mulavara)

Credit Hours: 1.5

Instructor(s) Vonetta Dotson; Ajitkumar Mulavara

Vonetta Dotson, PhD
Associate Professor
Georgia State University
Senior Project Scientist
Behavioral Medicine
Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR)/NASA
Founder and President
CerebroFit LLC
Ajitkumar Mulavara, PhD
CBS Portfolio Neuroscientist
Human Factors Behavioral
Performance Element
Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR)/NASA

CE Workshop # 12:

The Brain in Space: Implications for Human Explorations of Mars and Human Conditions on Earth

Abstract & Learning Objectives:

This CE will provide an overview of our current understanding of the effect of spaceflight on brain structure and function from the perspective of NASA’s CNS/Behavioral Medicine/Sensorimotor (CBS) Integrated Research Plan. The CBS research approach was implemented to help accelerate the characterization and mitigation of risks to the central nervous system associated with spaceflight, from the combined exposure to space radiation, isolation & confinement, and altered gravity. We will also discuss how the CBS Integrated Research Plan both informs and is informed by interdisciplinary research on brain health and brain dysfunction in patient populations such as dementia.

Upon conclusion of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Describe at least one risk to the brain associated with exposure to space radiation, isolation & confinement, and altered gravity
  • Explain the potential synergistic interaction of spaceflight stressor impacts on the sensorimotor, adverse cognitive or behavioral conditions and psychiatric disorders associated with space flight
  • Apply interdisciplinary research on the brain in space to neurodegenerative disorders and brain health promotion in patient populations

Speaker Biography:

Dr. Vonetta Dotson is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Gerontology at Georgia State University, Senior Project Scientist at NASA (KBR), and Founder and President of CerebroFit Integrated Brain Health. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association’s Society for Clinical Neuropsychology. She completed her doctoral training in clinical psychology at the University of Florida with a specialization in neuropsychology and a certificate in gerontology. She completed her postdoctoral training at the National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program. Her research and clinical activities focus on positive and negative modifiers of brain health, including the intersection of depression with cognitive and brain aging, and the impact of health disparities on brain health.

Dr. Ajitkumar Mulavara is the CBS Portfolio Scientist for Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), currently serving as the CBS Portfolio lead neuroscientist for the NASA Human Research Program Human Factors and Behavioral Performance (HFBP) Element at NASA Johnson Space Center. Dr. Mulavara is a neuroscientist with a background by training in Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering. As part of the CBS Portfolio transdisciplinary leadership team, he works to characterize and mitigate risks associated with potentially synergistic interaction within the central nervous system resulting from the simultaneous exposure to spaceflight hazards including space radiation, isolation and confinement, and altered gravity.