MRIs before and after space missions reveal that astronauts’ brains compress and expand during spaceflight, according to a University of Michigan study.
The principal investigator Rachael Seidler, U-M professor of kinesiology and psychology and colleagues examined structural MRIs in 26 astronauts.
The researchers found increases in gray matter volume in regions that control leg movement and process sensory information from legs, which may reflect changes related to the brain learning how to move in microgravity. These changes were greater in space station astronauts because their brains were learning and adapting 24/7.
“It’s interesting because even if you love something you won’t practice more than an hour a day,” Seidler said.
Source: University of Michigan News