Skip Navigation

David Dinges: Gauging Effects of Fatigue and Stress

David Dinges: Gauging Effects of Fatigue and Stress

Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Pipe holds a Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT) device while aboard NEEMO, NASA's underwater laboratory.
Courtesy of NASA.

David F. Dinges, PhD, professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, is working with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), to developing a test that will help astronauts gauge their own stress and fatigue levels while in space.

The test, which takes no more than three minutes to complete, could aid astronauts in gauging their fitness to perform critical and potentially dangerous tasks, like rendezvous and docking, space walking, or repairs on the International Space Station.

Short Version

Download mp3

Long Version

Download mp3


Grades 3-8

Sleep activities to help students understand circadian rhythms and how sleep disruption can negatively affect performance.

Related Content

  • Sleep and Daily Rhythms

    Sleep and Daily Rhythms Presentation

    Charles A. Czeisler, MD, PhD, explains the body’s “internal clock,” how sleep patterns are impacted by spaceflight and microgravity, and strategies to counteract these impacts.

  • Sleep and Human Performance

    Sleep and Human Performance Presentation

    Join David F. Dinges, PhD, as he describes studies being conducted to understand and limit effects of inadquate sleep and how these problems affect both astronauts on space missions and patients on Earth.