***UPDATE*** Laboratory officials have cancelled this event due to health and safety concerns.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- Army researchers will demonstrate neuroscience-based technology solutions designed to understand Soldier performance in operational environments at a March 26 event.
Researchers from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory, and nearly a dozen universities and industrial laboratories partnered on the decade-long Cognition and Neuroergonomics Collaborative Technology Alliance, the Army's flagship basic science research and technology transition program in neuroscience. Highlights of their findings will be showcased at an all-day event at a conference center near APG.
Over the past few decades, progress in the neurosciences has greatly advanced knowledge of how brain function underlies behavior, "providing the modern foundations for understanding how we sense, perceive, and interact with the world," said Dr. Jonathan Touryan, an Army research scientist who leads the program. "These understandings have provided and continue to provide revolutionary advances, fostering technological solutions to address Army needs."
The event will showcase the technology developments and impact of the alliance over the last 10 years and will feature leaders from government, industry and academia speaking on the importance of neurotechnology and adaptive design for the next generation of combat systems.
Among other technology demonstrations, scientists will showcase a human interest detector, which could help commanders and AI systems quantify squad-level situational awareness by combining measures of gaze direction and neural activity across a team of Soldiers. In the demo, a group of individuals, or a squad, navigates a simulated environment (as one would find on a virtual-reality game played on a desktop computer) while their gaze position and brain activity are being recorded and displayed. One of the individuals will be playing in-person during the live demonstration; the rest will be from prior recordings. The demonstration allows the viewer to see the live participant's gaze position and neural activity represented on a dynamic map where objects in the virtual world are visually annotated (via opacity and color) based on the squad's aggregate response.
In an adjacent demo, volunteers will be able to don wearable eye-tracking glasses. A computer display will show their gaze position (what they are looking at in the real world) with computer vision overlay, such as a bounding box and label around the object they are currently viewing.
Other demonstrations include Immersive Exploration, where volunteers will be able to walk around a virtual room wearing a Head Mounted Display looking for a target object while physiological signals are acquired and displayed; Real-World Neuroimaging Technologies, where volunteers will be able to interact with current and previous generations of neuroimaging technologies (e.g. dry electrode sensors for measuring EEG); Brain Synchrony during Real-World Driving, which includes a video playback of a driver and passenger commuting on Interstate 95 while having a conversation. The video will show dynamic brain synchrony between the individuals and how this synchrony will affect later memory of the conversation.
The laboratory has a long history of successful research collaborations bringing together the triad of industry, academia and government, dating back to the 1990s. The Army program began in May 2010 and is expected to conclude by May 2020.
CCDC Army Research Laboratory is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army's corporate research laboratory, ARL discovers, innovates and transitions science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.