Research Topic

The Effects of Altered Gravity on Physiology

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About this Research Topic

In physiology, a graded dose-response curve is a simple X-Y plot relating the stimulus level (or the stimulus level times the exposure) to a specific effect in an organism. Typically, as the dose increases, the measured response becomes more pronounced. The shape of the dose-response relationship depends on ...

In physiology, a graded dose-response curve is a simple X-Y plot relating the stimulus level (or the stimulus level times the exposure) to a specific effect in an organism. Typically, as the dose increases, the measured response becomes more pronounced. The shape of the dose-response relationship depends on the duration of exposure, the type of response, and the subject of investigation. Although space studies in humans, animals and plants have provided a window into understanding the effects of weightlessness or 0 g on physiological responses, the overall relationship between gravity level ranging from 0 g to 1 g (and higher) and the ensuing physiological responses is largely unknown.

This Research Topic aims to report and characterize the dose-response relationship between the magnitude of gravity and vestibular, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, behavioral, and cognitive responses. This information will be useful in making inferences about the range of gravity levels that are required for maintaining normal physiological function. Understanding the role of gravity in fundamental physiological processes is required for understanding spaceflight physiology and adaptation, and for development of the most efficient countermeasures.

Recent studies in humans, animals, and plants have used centrifuges to generate hypergravity (between 1 g and 3 g). Partial weight suspension systems, water immersion, and parabolic flight have been used to generate partial gravity (between 0 g and 1 g) on Earth. In addition, computational models have been developed for simulating how different gravity levels and exposure durations influence physiological response adaptations. Investigators who have participated in these studies will be solicited for their potential contributions.

The goal of this Research Topic is to provide an up-to-date assessment of the relationship between gravity level and physiological responses. We welcome submissions focusing on various methods for generating altered gravity, such as centrifugation, random positioning machines, body suspension systems, water immersion, parabolic flight, orbital flight, and computational models. The Research Topic covers responses from cognitive, vestibular, sensorimotor, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and immune systems in humans and animals, as well as the gravity sensing response in plants. Submissions can be a review or an original research article.


Keywords: Dose-response, Vestibular system, Cardiovascular system, Musculoskeletal system, Gravity


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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