Weight and Weightlessness Effects on Sensorimotor Performance During Manual Tracking
The effects of extra arm weight and weightlessness on sensorimotor performance were investigated in three studies. In all studies, subjects performed two-dimensional tracking tasks with a joystick. Results indicated that extra arm weight did not decrease tracking performance, but decreased acceleration variance. In weightlessness, tracking performance decreased and the control of movement impulses was deteriorated. This result pattern was found during water immersion as well as during spaceflight. The sensorimotor performance losses in weightlessness could be compensated by providing additional haptic cues with the input device.
KeywordsSensorimotor performance Weightlessness Water immersion Microgravity Haptic feedback
We want to express our gratitude to Prof. Stefan Schneider, Vanja Zander and Sebastian Dern from the German Sport University in Cologne as well as Jonas Schäffler and Henning Mende from the German Aerospace Center for their excellent support during the underwater study.
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