Illustration by Kayleen Schreiber

How Weightlessness Changes Our Brains

Knowing Neurons

Astronauts are no strangers to the harsh and wild conditions of outer space. From ionizing radiation to microgravity, these space explorers are exposed to a myriad of stressors that play a toll on their psychological and physiological systems. Some of these changes are better documented and more widely reported than others, like the effect of microgravity on astronauts’ immune systems or hormone regulation. Curiously enough, however, weightlessness also seems to be impacting the actual structure of the human brain.