US military successfully tests electrical brain stimulation to enhance staff skills

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Performance of military personnel can slump if the demands of the job become too intense. The study found that electrical brain stimulation can stave off the drop in performance. Photograph: Christian Science Monitor/Getty

Ian Sample
The Guardian

Study paves way for personnel such as drone operators to have electrical pulses sent into their brains to improve effectiveness in high pressure situations

US military scientists have used electrical brain stimulators to enhance mental skills of staff, in research that aims to boost the performance of air crews, drone operators and others in the armed forces’ most demanding roles.

The successful tests of the devices pave the way for servicemen and women to be wired up at critical times of duty, so that electrical pulses can be beamed into their brains to improve their effectiveness in high pressure situations.

The brain stimulation kits use five electrodes to send weak electric currents through the skull and into specific parts of the cortex. Previous studies have found evidence that by helping neurons to fire, these minor brain zaps can boost cognitive ability. Continue reading “US military successfully tests electrical brain stimulation to enhance staff skills”

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