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The Army Wants To Shock Your Brain To Help You Learn Good And Stuff
Everyone loves the idea of Pentagon brainiacs working overtime to engineer the next Captain America, but the DoD's latest soldier enhancement program wants to use electrical pulses to the cranium to achieve a relatively mundane result: to enhance soldiers' learning abilities and help get through tedious training faster.
Scientists from the Army's Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center have experimented with delivering low voltage electrical currents to certain areas of the brain — a process called neurostimulation — to volunteers in an effort to "accelerate learning and... bring Soldiers up to a level of high performance quickly," according to an Army release.
And it works, dangnabbit! According to the Army, soldiers who volunteered for neurostimulation and engaged in subsequent tactical exercises in "large virtual-reality caves" showed highly improved motor skills, situational awareness, and navigational abilities.
Dr. Aaron Gardony, cognitive scientist at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, points out the type of headset that is normally used for neurostimulation research. The cap consists of electrodes that can stimulate specific parts of the brain to enhance concentration or performance. The cap and other neurostimulation devices were on display in the Pentagon courtyard for Close Combat Lethality Tech Day, May 23-24, 2018.Jared Keller
Some were better able to recognize suspects in counterterror exercises after they’d studied a watch list of suspected terrorists during an earlier neurostimulation session. Other participants in urban training simulations "did better moving between objectives" during mid-exercise neurostimulation (no word on any parkour action). Neurostimulation also increased attention spans, allowing test volunteers to stare at a security monitor for 20 hours without their attention waning.
"We've seen a lot of positive effects of neurostimulation in our lab." NSRDEC cognitive scientist Dr. Tad Brunye said in an Army release. "We want to make sure that we stimulate the right areas of the brain, at the right time, in the right individual, in a manner targeted to specific tasks that we need them to excel on."
Cool. Cool cool cool. So when do we get to learn kung fu?
The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act would allow service members to seek compensation when military doctors make mistakes that harm them, but they would still be unable to file medical malpractice lawsuits against the federal government.
On Monday night, Congress announced that it had finalized the NDAA, which must be passed by the House and Senate before going to President Donald Trump. If the president signs the NDAA into law, it would mark the first time in nearly seven decades that U.S. military personnel have had legal recourse to seek payment from the military in cases of medical malpractice.
A major serving at U.S. Army Cyber Command has been charged with distributing child pornography, according to the Justice Department.
Maj. Jason Michael Musgrove, who is based at Fort Gordon, Georgia, has been remanded to the U.S. Marshals service, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia says.
Navy senior leaders could decide whether or not to approve the new I-Boot 5 early in 2020, said Rob Carroll, director of the uniform matters office at the Chief of Naval Personnel's office.
"The I-Boot 5 is currently wrapping up its actual wear test, its evaluation," Carroll told Task & Purpose on Monday. "We're hoping that within the first quarter of calendar year 2020 that we'll be able to present leadership with the information that they need to make an informed decision."
Oklahoma Congresspeople slam private housing contractor at Tinker Air Force Base for negligence, fraud
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn leveled harsh criticism last week at the contractor accused of negligence and fraudulent activity while operating private housing at Tinker Air Force Base and other military installations.
Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referred to Balfour Beatty Communities as "notorious." Horn, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told a company executive she was "incredibly disappointed you have failed to live up to your responsibility for taking care of the people that are living in these houses."
The Saudi national who killed three students on a U.S. Naval Air station in Pensacola was in the United States on a training exchange program.
On Sunday, Sen. Rick Scott said the United States should suspend that program, which brings foreign nationals to America for military training, pending a "full review."