The increasing prominence of polar, spaceflight, and subaquatic environments has renewed interest in understanding human performance under conditions of isolation and confinement. In 1987, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation co-sponsored a conference intended to revitalize behavioral research in such settings, and to explore the use of Antarctica as a behavioral laboratory for outer space. The present paper reviews recent research on men and women in isolation and confinement, with special reference to the proceedings of the NASA/NSF conference. The literature reviewed, which focuses on living systems and cuts across the individual, small group, organization, and community levels, suggests that researchers have become more systems-oriented, and have broadened their perspectives to encompass missions' larger temporal and social contexts. Among the topics reviewed are states of consciousness, stress, health, small group dynamics, personnel selection, crew training, and environmental engineering. Methodological and logistical problems are discussed, and the review concludes with recommendations for agencies that sponsor groups in isolation and confinement and for researchers who seek to study such groups.