Cortical reorganization in an astronaut’s brain after long-duration spaceflight

Athena Demertzi, Angelique Van Ombergen, Elena Tomilovskaya, Ben Jeurissen, Ekaterina Pechenkova, Carol Di Perri, Liudmila Litvinova, Enrico Amico, Alena Rumshiskaya, Ilya Rukavishnikov, Jan Sijbers, Valentin Sinitsyn, Inessa B. Kozlovskaya, Stefan Sunaert, Paul M. Parizel, Paul H. Van de Heyning, Steven Laureys, Floris L. Wuyts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


To date, hampered physiological function after exposure to microgravity has been primarily attributed to deprived peripheral neuro-sensory systems. For the first time, this study elucidates alterations in human brain function after long-duration spaceflight. More specifically, we found significant differences in resting-state functional connectivity between motor cortex and cerebellum, as well as changes within the default mode network. In addition, the cosmonaut showed changes in the supplementary motor areas during a motor imagery task. These results highlight the underlying neural basis for the observed physiological deconditioning due to spaceflight and are relevant for future interplanetary missions and vestibular patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2873-2876
Number of pages4
JournalBrain Structure and Function
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


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