The Psychophysiological Effect of Simulated and Terrestrial Altitude

The Psychophysiological Effect of Simulated and Terrestrial Altitude


Lead Sponsor: University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland

Collaborator: University of Portsmouth
Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Source University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland
Brief Summary

The aim of this study is to compare the psychophysiological effects of terrestrial altitude with a normobaric, hypoxic situation.

Detailed Description

Research has consistently shown that exposure to extreme environments (such as high altitude stays) may affect cognitive function. For logistical reasons and to control the experimental set-ups, most of these examinations are carried out in the laboratory. By testing under such controlled conditions, researchers can remove any co-foundational factors and isolate the cause of stress, thereby better understanding the mechanisms by which impairment can occur. However, when people are exposed to such environments in the "real world" (such as altitude), they often experience a number of other additional stressors at the same time, which can also affect their performance. Surprisingly, however, little attention has been paid to the study of these additional stressors in combination. Although the oxygen content remains constant at various altitudes (20.93%), the air pressure decreases exponentially as the altitude increases. As a result, the oxygen partial pressure in arterial blood and tissue is reduced (hypoxia), leading to a deterioration in both physical and cognitive performance. Hypoxic conditions also alter the perception of pain, which may be particularly relevant for patients suffering from hypoxic conditions. According to the authors' knowledge, there is limited literature investigating and comparing simulated and real psychophysiological responses.

Overall Status Recruiting
Start Date 2019-10-01
Completion Date 2022-09-01
Primary Completion Date 2021-09-01
Phase N/A
Study Type Interventional
Primary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
Perfusion of the skin microcirculation 30 minutes
Oxygenation of the muscles and the brain 30 minutes
Oxygenation of the blood 30 minutes
Blood pressure 30 minutes
Heart rate 30 minutes
Skin temperature 30 minutes
Concentration of blood lactate and creatine kinase 30 minutes
Balance 30 minutes
Pain threshold: pain pressure gauge 30 minutes
Sleep disorder 30 minutes
Altitude sickness 30 minutes
Dyspnoea 30 minutes
Mental state 30 minutes
Cognition 30 minutes
Secondary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
Thermal comfort and sensation 30 minutes
Enrollment 23

Intervention Type: Behavioral

Intervention Name: Terrestrial altitude

Description: Terrestrial altitude: The volunteers are in an SAC hut at an altitude of 3000 m. By means of this exposure the psychophysiological effect under hypobaric and hypoxic conditions is determined. The subjects spend the night in this SAC hut and the measurements are repeated the next day.

Arm Group Label: Terrestrial altitude

Intervention Type: Behavioral

Intervention Name: Cloud 9

Description: Cloud 9 is a solid, certified product that complies with European Directives on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Machine Directive, Air Pressure Equipment and Low Voltage Equipment (89/336 / EEC, 91/368 / CEE, 93/68 / CEE, 97/23 / EC, EN61010-1 All directives are in writing in the Supplements to this Ethics Application. Simulated height: The subjects are in the laboratory of our institution and are connected to the Cloud 9 by means of a mask. Subjects are exposed to a simulated altitude of 3530m under normobaric conditions. By means of this intervention the psychophysiological effect under normobaric and hypoxic conditions is determined.

Arm Group Label: Simulated altitude



Inclusion Criteria: - Healthy, adults aged 18 to 50 years - No cardiovascular disease and / or surgery - no surgery on the cardiovascular system. - No current injuries and / or pain - Regular and adequate sleep - No terrestrial altitude of 1000 m exceeded last month (including flights) - No form of hypoxia exposed last month Exclusion Criteria: - Age over 50 years - current injuries of any kind and / or pain - Acute and / or chronic pain conditions Known general diseases (e.g., diabetes mellitus) - fear of hypoxia - fear of heights or sensitivity to terrestrial altitude - Regular use of medicines (also bought by yourself), except for contraceptives - Cardiovascular diseases or abnormalities - Anomalies of the blood analysis or ECG - Psychological disorders - pregnancy / lactation



Minimum Age:

18 Years

Maximum Age:

50 Years

Healthy Volunteers:

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Overall Contact

Last Name: Ron Clijsen, PhD

Phone: +41 81 3000 175

Email: [email protected]

Facility: Status: Contact: Contact Backup:
Fachhochschule Südschweiz | Landquart, GR, 7302, Switzerland Recruiting Ron Clijsen, PhD +41 81 3000 175 [email protected]
Fachhochschule Südschweiz | Landquart, GR, 7302, Switzerland Recruiting Ron Clijsen, PhD +41 81 3000 175 [email protected] Ron Clijsen, PhD Principal Investigator Erich Hohenauer, PhD Sub-Investigator Rahel Stoop, MSc Sub-Investigator Carlina Deflorin, MSc Sub-Investigator
Fachhochschule Südschweiz | Landquart, 7302, Switzerland Recruiting Ronaldus Clijsen, PhD 813000175 [email protected]
Location Countries


Verification Date


Responsible Party

Type: Sponsor

Has Expanded Access No
Condition Browse
Number Of Arms 3
Arm Group

Label: Simulated altitude

Type: Active Comparator

Description: The participants are exposed to simulated altitude in a normobaric situation.

Label: Terrestrial altitude

Type: Experimental

Description: The participants are exposed to terrestrial altitude in a hypobaric situation.

Label: Control

Type: No Intervention

Description: the participants are exposed to a normoxic and normobaric environment.

Acronym Hypoxia
Patient Data No
Study Design Info

Allocation: Randomized

Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment

Intervention Model Description: The study design is a crossover design.

Primary Purpose: Basic Science

Masking: Single (Investigator)

This information was retrieved directly from the website without any changes. If you have any requests to change, remove or update your study details, please contact [email protected]. As soon as a change is implemented on, this will be updated automatically on our website as well.

Clinical Research News