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Review ARTICLE

Front. Behav. Neurosci., 24 September 2012 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2012.00064

Learning on Jupiter, learning on the Moon: the dark side of the G-force. Effects of gravity changes on neurovascular unit and modulation of learning and memory

  • 1Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
  • 2Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Unité Mixte de Recherche 5293, Institut des Maladies Neurodégénératives, Talence, France

On earth, gravity vector conditions the development of all living beings by physically imposing an axis along which to build their organism. Thus, during their whole life, they have to fight against this force not only to maintain their architectural organization but also to coordinate the communication between organs and keep their physiology in a balanced steady-state. In space, astronauts show physiological, psychological, and cognitive deregulations, ranging from bone decalcification or decrease of musculature, to depressive-like disorders, and spatial disorientation. Nonetheless, they are confronted to a great amount of physical changes in their environment such as solar radiations, loss of light-dark cycle, lack of spatial landmarks, confinement, and obviously a dramatic decrease of gravity force. It is thus very hard to selectively discriminate the strict role of gravity level alterations on physiological, and particularly cerebral, dysfunction. To this purpose, it is important to design autonomous models and apparatuses for behavioral phenotyping utilizable under modified gravity environments. Our team actually aims at working on this area of research.

Keywords: learning and memory, cognition, emotion, gravity, hypergravity, microgravity, stress

Citation: Porte Y and Morel J-L (2012) Learning on Jupiter, learning on the Moon: the dark side of the G-force. Effects of gravity changes on neurovascular unit and modulation of learning and memory. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 6:64. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2012.00064

Received: 18 July 2012; Accepted: 06 September 2012;
Published online: 24 September 2012.

Edited by:

Agnes Gruart, University Pablo de Olavide, Spain

Reviewed by:

Enrike G. Argandoña, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Juan C. López Ramos, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Spain

Copyright © 2012 Porte and Morel. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Yves Porte, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UMR 5293, Institut des Maladies Neurodégénératives, avenue des facultés, 33405 Talence, France. e-mail: yves.porte@u-bordeaux2.fr