Distant isolated of the expedition was a real test not only for the psyche, but also for the human body. This is especially true of those who are in isolation spend a significant part of his life – explorers and astronauts.
The monotony, the absence of the interlocutor and monotonous landscape affects the brain of the explorers, whereby it is reduced in size, reports the New England Journal of Medicine.
At first I was amazed by this white desert, but she remained always the same,
– says one of the authors Alexander Mill.
8 scientists, technicians and cooks for 14 months spent on the Antarctic station, Neumayer-III. In summer they visited colleagues, but the rest of the time they were in isolation. There they spent the long Arctic winter at temperatures below -50°, and could not leave the station even in case of an emergency.
Polar station Neumayer-III
Experiments on animals have proved that isolation can lead to reduced function of the hippocampus. This area of the brain that is responsible for the mechanisms of memory and navigation.
Experts examined the state of health of Alexander Mill and his colleagues have confirmed that the human brain also reacts to these conditions.
The brain of the team were examined using MRI before and after the expedition. To be fair, for comparison, examined the brains of people the same age and sex who lived on the mainland.
Comparing the brains of the expedition participants and the control group, the experts found that the hippocampus explorers decreased by 7%.
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