The fifteen volunteers who spent 40 days locked up in a cave in Areej came out in the open on Saturday, April 24th. The point of the experiment was to find out How humans behave in hostile environmentsNeuroscientist Quentin Montardi explained his call on franceinfo on Saturday.
franceinfo: What is the scientific value of this experiment?
Quentin Montardi: She will have a lot of them. There are a lot of teams working on this topic. Chronological, sensory biology and, in my case, stress study teams. We will study the physiological and behavioral signs of stress, and the development of their stress during their adventure, to compare this with the stresses of modern life. The goal is to find out if there is a specific signature for different types of stress. In this case, it will be pressured to survive, with the hostile environment. We will be able to compare it to the stresses we already know in society. It is a matter of understanding whether we are, among the quotes, just prehistoric men in a modern world, or if we have innate and instinctive behaviors, which wake up in the context of tension, from survival.
How did you measure this pressure?
We put brand new devices and technologies underground with them. This is one of the first times we’ve been able to do this in such a complex environment. For example, virtual reality, devices that measure real-time heartbeat, head movement, or even a person’s posture. They were able to do most of these behavioral tests themselves and give us the information, because we trained them to do so. We have to get back the results today.
What will we learn from it?
One of the goals of the Adaptation Institute is to discover how humans behave in hostile environments, which unfortunately happens a lot on Earth. It also provides us with ways to help people reduce their stress.For example, the experiment we did underground was to push them back, thanks to virtual reality, on the ground, to see if physiological and behavioral markers were positively affected.