US Air Force develops neurotechnology for accelerated learning


An article from TechWatch Edition 5

A project led by the 711th Human Performance Wing of the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is developing an augmented learning platform that includes a brain-computer interface. Its aim is to speed up the learning process, such that airmen can more quickly acquire knowledge and skills.

Neurotechnology Main - graphical image showing brain made up of circuit board connections in blue

The concept depends upon the use of neurotechnologies, building on the progress made in understanding brain function and how it relates to human performance. The researchers freely admit that this sounds like something straight out of science fiction.

The project, known as the ‘Individualized Neural Learning System’ (iNeuraLS) project, has been funded as part of the Seedlings for Disruptive Capabilities Program, which seeks to “seed” new ideas of interest to the Air Force.

iNeuraLS is an immersive, closed-loop augmented cognition system. A non-invasive brain-computer interface uses a combination of electroencephalography (EEG), and
magnetoencephalography (MEG) to monitor electrical activity in an individual’s brain. The data recorded is matched to different cognitive states and can identify variables like fatigue, attention, and memory during different stages of learning. Being closed-loop, the system can respond and tailor its output to the user’s progress.

The project is being funded over three years and is expected to culminate with a demonstration, which the researchers report could be something like performance on a flight simulator.

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