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DARPA Investing In Electric Brain Stimulation To Train Snipers Quickly

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the heightened-reflexes-II dept.

Biotech 124

New submitter Morganth writes "According to New Scientist, researchers at DARPA are investing efforts in transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) machines to cut the time it takes to train snipers. From the article: 'a 2-milliamp current will run through the part of the brain associated with object recognition — an important skill when visually combing a scene for assailants.' The story also gives a nice explanation on the psychology of 'flow' — the state that experts tend to enter (e.g. programmers, tennis players, pianists) when focusing on their work." We covered similar research done on mice to improve their memory in September.

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And That's Why (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38956981)

That's why I bought a Saturn.

Re:And That's Why (2, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957569)

I want to see dead, burnt baby bodies. I want to see veins in my teeth.

Re:And That's Why (1)

SpinningCone (1278698) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957739)

Just watch out for those father rapers.

Re:And That's Why (1)

jdog-usa (957972) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957987)

I want to see dead, burnt baby bodies. I want to see veins in my teeth.

Brilliant reference. I'm afraid that most people will miss the connection though.

Re:And That's Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38958123)

Everyone loves Alice :-)

Re:And That's Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38958277)

It's a song about Alice.

Re:And That's Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38959365)

But who is going to pick up the garbage?

Re:And That's Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38959403)

And the others from the Group W bench.

Obligatory Matrix quote (5, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956997)

"I know kung fu."

Re:Obligatory Matrix quote (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957479)

Me too, and that guy owes me money!

Re:Obligatory Matrix quote (1)

ricky-road-flats (770129) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957509)

"I know kung fu."

Show me.

Re:Obligatory Matrix quote (1)

Devout2 (2026726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957881)

Try me! [nerdapproved.com]

Re:Obligatory Matrix quote (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957583)

Well considering it's sniping, it'd probably be something like "I know trigonometry."

Re:Obligatory Matrix quote (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958167)

Far more to it than that.

Re:Obligatory Matrix quote (3, Funny)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958237)

I was going to go with "Snipin's a good job, mate. Challengin' work, out of doors, and besides, the chip in my head says so!"

Re:Obligatory Matrix quote (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958745)

You shop Ebay outdoors? Aren't you worried the glare will throw off your view of the countdown at the final moment?

So, kind of overclocking (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957031)

Overclocking the brain?

a 2-milliamp current will run through the part of the brain associated with object recognition — an important skill when visually combing a scene for assailants

Re:So, kind of overclocking (2)

A10Mechanic (1056868) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957315)

Remember, the bulb that burns twice as bright, only lasts half as long. (Unless you're using those funny looking bulbs, then my analogy goes right down the toilet) I don't want to be spoon feeding burned-out snipers in the home...

Re:So, kind of overclocking (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957679)

I'm fairly certain it's actually an exponential problem. Run 3 times the power through a traditional lightbulb and watch it "poof" in a second. Run a quarter of the power through and it could last a century (the oldest running lightbuld in the world runs at a fairly low wattage).

Re:So, kind of overclocking (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959903)

actually hidden secret take a 100w bulb and run it at 75 watts of light output and presto a bulb that lats 10,000 or so hours.

cutting voltage greatly increases projected life.

The trick is they are trying to massively reduce electricity usage so they don't have to approve of more power plants.

Re:So, kind of overclocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38957817)

Bulb lifespan (for incandescent bulbs) is proportional to the 11th power of the voltage. There not terribly linear either so it would be hard to give an exact figure, but I think "The bulb that burns twice as bright, only lasts 1 millionth as long" would be a far more accurate statement.

Re:So, kind of overclocking (2)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957699)

An additional 2-milliamp current will be run through the pleasure center of the brain for every target correctly identified and eliminated. In related news, application to sniper school hits a all-time high.

Any amount of taxpayer money for U.S. gov violence (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38957825)

By some measures, the U.S. government is the most violent that has ever existed. The U.S. government has invaded, bombed, or interfered with more than 27 countries since the end of the 2nd world war.

The U.S. government has the highest percentage of citizens in prison of any country, anywhere, in the entire history of the world.

The U.S. government has the greatest debt. The U.S. government spends taxpayer money it doesn't have.

The U.S. government gives "foreign aid" to other countries to buy weapons made by U.S. companies. It is embezzlement of taxpayer money, $25 billion in 2008. The Bush and Cheney families are, or were, weapons investors.

The U.S. government is at present trying to start a war with Iran.

The U.S. government operates largely in secret. The U.S. government believes it can torture, imprison, kidnap, or kill anyone, in any country, at any time. The U.S. government sometimes employs the secret police of other countries to do things that are illegal for it to do directly.

The U.S. government killed far more people in Iraq than Saddam Hussein, and was far more physically destructive. Museums were raided during the violence. The U.S. government bombed utilities.

Do your own research. U.S. government corruption is worse than what is described here.

That's right (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38958033)

That's why I'm happily looking forward to seeing China become the greatest economy in the world.
(and of course to have laugh seeing Americans' ego being so hurt by that fact that they'll be doing and saying completely random stuff)

Re:That's right (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38959011)

>>That's why I'm happily looking forward to seeing China become the greatest economy in the world.

not sure why you think a nation of 4x the population having a larger economy is going to result in hurt american feelings. seems like they ought to have a "greater" economy to me.

>>(and of course to have laugh seeing Americans' ego being so hurt by that fact that they'll be doing and saying completely random stuff)

I'm going to assume you were either drunk or had a stroke while writing this bit, because it's unintelligible.

Re:That's right (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38959031)

China is not much better, you're just going from one extreme to the opposite other.

Is it true that Americans don't have color vision? I heard you guys only see the world in black and white.

(I don't really know if you are American but a lot of Americans who dislike their government just turn to China like it's the perfect solution).

Re:That's right (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 2 years ago | (#38960413)

I don't know about other Americans, but I see the world in 16 million shades of grey...

Re:Any amount of taxpayer money for U.S. gov viole (0)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958867)

Do your own research. U.S. government corruption is worse than what is described here.

When I publish my own research I generally include citations [wikipedia.org] . It helps one be taken seriously, although not always [jir.com] .

Please do try again, it will make you a more effective at avoiding "flame bait" (because ACs can't really be guilty of trolling for karma - the line's got to be in the water for something else).

Re:Any amount of taxpayer money for U.S. gov viole (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38958947)

/peanuts teacher voice

Two of three categories (3, Interesting)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957067)

So combined with the earlier article about guided long range bullets this technology would be the second of three pieces to accelerate training or open up the candidate pool. Now we just need the trifecta article about some sort of stealth camouflage system.

obsolete (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957139)

Just in time to be replaced by drones.

A declaration (2)

The Mister Purple (2525152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957161)

I, for one, welcome our cyborg sniper overlords.

Reminds me of starcraft. (1)

eexaa (1252378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957229)

How many crystals were needed to build a terran ghost anyway?

Re:Reminds me of starcraft. (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957435)

200 minerals and 100 vespene gas

Re:Reminds me of starcraft. (1)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957651)

I thought the same thing: "Call down the thunder...."

Re:Reminds me of starcraft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38957789)

Never say die...

what could possibly go wrong? (1, Redundant)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957249)

sigh

Re:what could possibly go wrong? (2)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957587)

I don't know... but it could certainly be interesting to find out.

Brain Stimulation Research (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38957263)

Perhaps more research should go toward stimulating political thinking into avoiding situations where snipers need to be rapidly trained.

Re:Brain Stimulation Research (3, Funny)

trum4n (982031) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957451)

The brain isn't the part of the anatomy that politicians need electrodes hooked to....

Re:Brain Stimulation Research (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959885)

Indeed. Brains are a part of the anatomy that politicians lack entirely.

Re:Brain Stimulation Research (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958227)

Yea, I'm sure the leaders of Pakistan, Iran, al-Qaeda et al won't mind us rigging them up to some electrodes. Not at all.

Electroshock Therapy (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957567)

I knew there would be a use for that old Electroshock Therapy machine that I picked up dirt cheap from military surplus.

If you wait long enough, wacky medical treatments become in vogue again. Like leeches, that are used for skin grafts.

My original plans of using the Electroshock Therapy machine to keep the neighborhood kids off my lawn did not go down too well with the neighbors, the police, and various other government agencies. Until they found no law against owning an Electroshock Therapy, and threatening to use it on kids on my lawn.

By then the neighbors wouldn't let their kids anywhere near my ranch anyway, so I guess it was effective after all.

Now about my plans for opening a private sniper school . . .

Re:Electroshock Therapy (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958663)

Now about my plans for opening a private sniper school . . .

Where's the profit in limiting your potential targets to the E-1 paygrade?

Won't 2mA stop your heart? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38957585)

Just sayin. Wonder what a long term 2mA current through the brain will do.

Re:Won't 2mA stop your heart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38957727)

I would respond that it might stop your brain, but these are military personnel we're talking about here

Re:Won't 2mA stop your heart? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958959)

You'll be fine as long as the magic smoke [wikipedia.org] doesn't come out

Chuck... (0)

Ramley (1168049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957641)

So we begin on the path to building an intersect. "I know kung foo"

Re:Chuck... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958261)

... how exactly does one verb a verb?

Re:Chuck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38958273)

Yeah, but that didn't end well.

I mean, literally. The last season of Chuck really wasn't very good and the ending sucked.

Did I miss the memo? (2)

WillgasM (1646719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957659)

When did we run out of snipers? Did they all just up and retire last weekend? Is there a reason we need a large numbers of snipers trained quickly? Is RL warfare turning into one of those CoD matches where everyone rolls sniper and stares at a window until someone with a shotgun creeps up behind them? Although this research sounds interesting, it strikes me as a solution looking for a problem.

Re:Did I miss the memo? (1)

jpwilliams (2430348) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957941)

Just venturing a guess, but sniping, as opposed to other combat skills, seems a rather controlled, calculable (word?) action. Compare it to moving through a city in formation, disarming a bomb, etc. Don't get me wrong, snipers are highly skilled and gifted, but the complexity of the tax, I think, is better suited to a technology that augments the brains natural learning rhythms. In other words, it's not because they need more snipers, but because they need to test the tech. PS. Manchurian Candidate, anyone?

Re:Did I miss the memo? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958301)

... and even then, if the training is fast and efficient, why NOT have more marksman-trained riflemen? It's not like engaging at a longer range with better accuracy isn't a good thing. It's not like a game where someone "classed" for long range is excluded from function at close range.

Re:Did I miss the memo? (1)

PlatyPaul (690601) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958211)

Better to get them with the knife, in CoD. Shotguns will paint you on enemy radar, besides being more effective at clue-ing in anyone nearby that there is trouble lurking around.

Wtf DARPA? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38957747)

Can't we just give the soulless drones at DARPA electroshock so they stop coming up with ideas to fuck the world up more and more?

Snipers? WTF? (4, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957751)

TFA doesn't mention snipers. The description is of someone firing rapidly to supress an attack.

Sniper teams (not just one person) work slowly and methodically by comparison. Identifying the target isn't done under the kind of pressure described in the article. And there's figuring the range and windage as well. Not something done at that kind of an almost instinctive level.

And then there's the issue of muscle memory. A lot of shooting (accurately) depends on eye-hand coordination and motor learning to control superfluous movements that can mess up a shot. Will this stimulation do anything for that?

Re:Snipers? WTF? (1)

jpwilliams (2430348) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958025)

This stimulation wouldn't directly effect muscle memory, but it's part of a whole system. I think more research is needed. It be interesting to see a situation where the brain has acquired the necessary pathways to be better, but the muscle tissue and peripheral nervous system hasn't caught up. BTW, TFA does mention sniping specifically. From TFA:

Weisend, who is working on a US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency programme to accelerate learning, has been using this form of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to cut the time it takes to train snipers

Re:Snipers? WTF? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958337)

Sounds like the article is actually talking about designated marksmen or sharpshooters in general.

Re:Snipers? WTF? (1)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958533)

A lot of shooting (accurately) depends on eye-hand coordination and motor learning to control superfluous movements that can mess up a shot. Will this stimulation do anything for that?

Actually the article says the exact same thing you said! In the article it says that professional soccer player's play-styles are different from beginner and amateur player's play-styles in that pros have less superfluous movements.

Re:Snipers? WTF? (4, Informative)

SlowMovingTarget (550823) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958869)

From TFA:

Weisend, who is working on a US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency programme to accelerate learning, has been using this form of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to cut the time it takes to train snipers.

That's from page 2. Do more than skim.

Dear DARPA: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38957785)

Hire mice.

Morons.

When can i buy my thinking hat (tm)? (2)

SpinningCone (1278698) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957873)

Read that article the other day, very interesting it will be cool when they pinpoint these areas more specifically and make a hat that can tune your abilities. i have read similar articles using electricity to shut down parts of the brain and people suddenly gain increased artistic abilities or math skills etc.

i imagine that soon we could potentially have a consumer grade device that would help stimulate the parts of your brain to help with the task at hand or temporarily shut down the parts that would hinder.

thought hat leaves the question about school work etc/ could you force employees to use it to make them better. could people who can afford one be getting an unfair advantage academically?

Re:When can i buy my thinking hat (tm)? (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958131)

Give a whole new meaning to "tinfoil hat", eh?

This is why we're not here for the long haul (3, Funny)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957975)

We figure out a way to enhance human mental acuity, and the very first thing we apply it to is training snipers. Interspecies communication? Military dolphins. Never mind nuclear physics.

If we were as good at anything as we are at killing each other and stealing each other's stuff, we might have a chance. Hell, if we were even more interested in something else -- and no, screwing doesn't count.

Re:This is why we're not here for the long haul (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958105)

Why shouldn't screwing count, exactly?

Re:This is why we're not here for the long haul (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958837)

It creates more problems than it solves.

Re: baby momma drama.

Personally, I think most of the world's problems would be better resolved by deactivating those particular impulses. (Sex and violence are closely related behaviorally. Both are tied heavily to the endocrine system, and are mediated by the amygdala and thalamus.) Of course, complete shutdown of the responsible areas would be highly detrimental, as the same region is responsible for other emotional states, and for a number of autonomic processes.

Still, selective suppression of lustfulness and violence would free people to become more rational and less emotional beings. Give our species' ever increasing long term impact, cessation of short term emotional solutions and thinking can only be a good thing.

Re:This is why we're not here for the long haul (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38958315)

Bummer.. I was going to propose something to stimulate blood flow in certain areas of the body..
I am over 60. I would use an implant like that.

Re:This is why we're not here for the long haul (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958343)

Yeah, maybe the huge deep pockets that the military has can figure out a way to make a braincap. So what? DARPA built the Internet as a nuclear-weapons-resistant communications suite. Now it's a global information network that governments and media moguls around the globe are afraid of.

Re:This is why we're not here for the long haul (2)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959499)

DARPA built the Internet as a nuclear-weapons-resistant communications suite.

No they didn't.

Re:This is why we're not here for the long haul (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958387)

My, aren't you an angsty badger!

Re:This is why we're not here for the long haul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38958607)

Screwing always counts....

Re:This is why we're not here for the long haul (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38959643)

Why should a defense R&D organization care about other applications. If someone else wants to spend money to research the things you want they're free to. Meanwhile DARPA will put its money towards research for the military. That's their job.

This reminds me of a movie and its stimulation... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958133)

That movie is "Wanted" so you want to train a sniper quickly? put a loaded gun to his head, with safety off but actually pull the trigger if he misses the target.

tried and true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38958153)

russians have used it to train astronauts since the friggin astronaut training times (at least early 80's). like what the heck! in the early 90's, when upgrade was due, they donated the old devices for medicinal purposes. these were as big as 3 briefcases, power adapter not included. don't ask for references. I feel uncomfortable writing about it as it is. good luck and good health

Re:tried and true (1)

MrManny (1026106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958839)

They are either upping the volts or discarded this approach for some reason. Russian spacecrafts come down in bits and pieces these days.

My Greatest Fear (1, Insightful)

Bicx (1042846) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958181)

My greatest fear with brain enhancement technology is that it creates a super-class of humans. Those who have the ability to pay for the technology will have a majorly unfair advantage against those who don't, creating a dangerously elite group of people.

Re:My Greatest Fear (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958713)

dangerously elite

Sounds like a great name for a R.E.M. cover band.

Re:My Greatest Fear (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958889)

Me first!

Re:My Greatest Fear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38959397)

My greatest fear with brain enhancement technology is that it creates a super-class of humans. Those who have the ability to pay for the technology will have a majorly unfair advantage against those who don't, creating a dangerously elite group of people.

You mean like those who are rich have an advantage over those who are poor?

Re:My Greatest Fear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38960075)

Haha, as if this isn't already the world we live in.

Very Scary Stuff (1)

bolthole (122186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958309)

Two things that stand out from the article:

"warns me that if I remove an electrode and break the connection, the voltage passing through my brain will blind me for a good few seconds."

oh, yay. zappiezappie

but worse:

In the sudden quiet amid the bodies around me, I was really expecting more assailants, and I'm a bit disappointed when the team begins to remove my electrodes. I look up and wonder if someone wound the clocks forward. Inexplicably, 20 minutes have just passed. "How many did I get?" I ask the assistant. She looks at me quizzically. "All of them."

This should freak you the hell out

The beginnings of a "super soldier" program, that not only improves performance dramatically, but also disengages the higher brain functions ZombieSoldier, (c)US Army, all rights reserved(to the government)

FF reference (1)

OverkillTASF (670675) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958375)

(whipsering) Miranda. (/whispering)

Re:Very Scary Stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38959899)

Where you locate the cathode (-) and anode (+) makes all the difference- Go get a LM317 current regulator, a couple resistors, two 3cm square sponges soaked in brine, some wire and a battery. Hook + from the battery to the LM317 Vin, the resistors (1 or 2K?maybe a varister) between Vout and ADJ, then a wire going from ADJ to the anode sponge. Hook (-) from the battery to the cathode sponge. Play with the resistors / varister until you get > 1ma & 2ma. Put the cathode over your right front orbital, and the anode fairly far back on the left side of your head. Do it for 20 minutes.

Re:Very Scary Stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38959997)

BTW, use a 9v battery. Also, the output should measure LESS than 2ma.

Re:Very Scary Stuff (2)

Peristaltic (650487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38960033)

... And, if you do this, you are a complete idiot. I wouldn't recommend it.

Great Read (2)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958561)

Really liked this article. I've experienced "flow" to a limited degree when playing music and playing video games, it's something I'd like to be able to attain more. The only time I really enter "flow" when playing music is when I'm improvising with other musicians and I get really 'in the zone' with what I'm playing.

the great fookin' miliatry industral beast! (3, Interesting)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959273)

Really liked this article. I've experienced "flow" to a limited degree when playing music and playing video games, it's something I'd like to be able to attain more. The only time I really enter "flow" when playing music is when I'm improvising with other musicians and I get really 'in the zone' with what I'm playing.

Gheezus H Ktoolo, heaven forfend they just burn a blunt!

Me likey! (1)

broseidon (2537346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958581)

So.. when will this be publicly available? My K:D ratio for Modern Warfare 2 could use a boost..

Re:Me likey! (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958921)

Who's the douchebag that keeps dying?

Re:Me likey! (1)

broseidon (2537346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959449)

You forgot the "Who has two thumbs and.." part to your retort.

One thing to take away (1)

dmt0 (1295725) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958653)

One thing to take away is that higher mental abilities come not from stimulating an area of the brain but by shutting it down. Do we need an external device to do that?

I call hax. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38958795)

Great, now even real snipers have wallhacks.

flow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38959251)

I have experienced this while racing...as an experienced racer, you get into a zone and you just execute actions without conscious thought.

The Drake Institute (2)

dave562 (969951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959283)

These people use biofeedback to help with ADHD and other conditions.

http://www.drakeinstitute.com/ [drakeinstitute.com]

I did one of their treatment programs about a decade ago. There really is a "feeling" associated with being focused. Via biofeedback you can train the mind to recognize mental states in the brain. It is a very powerful and useful science.

It seems like the military is taking shortcuts. Rather than going through a 6 month program, they are just pumping some current through the areas of the brain related to the type of learning that they are trying to enhance. It seems like it would be effective. Once the synapses have been formed, the training is more or less permanent.

I wonder if they've considered piracetam or other nootropics to further enhance the process.

Update of an old method: (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959305)

"You missed the target, private. I'm increasing the stimulation."

*zap* "Ouch!"

"If you miss the target again, I will increase it again. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Drill Sergeant!"

Re:Update of an old method: (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#38960003)

It worked in Ghostbusters.

New Hiring Policy (1)

geekfarmer (2076616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959395)

"Yeah, our policy is to wire up all our new interns. After the first burnout, or if their physician starts complaining about their body weight (forgetting to eat is a common side-effect), we give 'em a test. If they've learned enough by then, we hire 'em. If not, well, we're not running a charity here."

Flow (1)

Bensam123 (1340765) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959773)

Even if it sound stupid, flow is a actual area of research for psychologists and the rather weird and interesting effects it has on human perception and reaction. It's really cool stuff and most people either take it for granted or don't even know they're doing it. It effects everyone in every part of our lives as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)
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