Air Force announces research platform to harness closed-loop neurotechnology and accelerate learning “on the fly”

U.S. Air Force illustration/Richard Eldridge

Air Force Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy Part­ner­ship Aims to Accel­er­ate Learn­ing (Mil­i­tary Spot):

The Indi­vid­u­al­ized Neur­al Learn­ing Sys­tem, or iNeu­raLS, is a new aug­ment­ed learn­ing plat­form that will enable rapid learn­ing by closed-loop mod­u­la­tion of cog­ni­tive states dur­ing skill acqui­si­tion. Essen­tial­ly, the AFRL team seeks to devel­op a capa­bil­i­ty that will give Air­men the abil­i­ty to rapid­ly acquire knowl­edge and skills on the fly through direct brain inter­faces with the help of neurotechnologies…

We’re going to have unprece­dent­ed access to the brain using a nov­el brain-machine inter­face,” said Dr. Nathaniel Bridges, AFRL research bio­med­ical engi­neer and Neur­al Inter­face team lead. He added that these neur­al sig­nals will be used to devel­op algo­rithms that will help researchers deter­mine the opti­mal brain state under which indi­vid­u­als can receive infor­ma­tion. From there, the team will deter­mine the most effec­tive means of enhanc­ing the sub­jects’ abil­i­ty to intake and process infor­ma­tion. This could range from non-inva­sive neuromodulation—or brain stimulation—techniques to the use of aug­ment­ed real­i­ty to alter per­ceived envi­ron­men­tal conditions.

Bridges reit­er­at­ed that this process is not as oth­er­world­ly as it may seem. To gath­er data on brain activ­i­ty, the team will devel­op a hybrid brain-machine inter­face using a com­bi­na­tion of two well-estab­lished, non-inva­sive tech­nolo­gies: elec­troen­cephalog­ra­phy, com­mon­ly known as EEG, and mag­ne­toen­cephalog­ra­phy, or MEG. He explains that each tech­nol­o­gy offers its own advan­tages. Part of the infor­ma­tion gen­er­at­ed by neu­ronal cur­rents in the brain is rep­re­sent­ed as elec­tric fields, which are picked up by EEG, while the oth­er part is rep­re­sent­ed as mag­net­ic fields, which is picked up by MEG. Addi­tion­al­ly, MEG allows for a high­er spa­tial res­o­lu­tion com­pared to EEG. There­fore, a hybrid of the two tech­nolo­gies would allow researchers to gath­er infor­ma­tion on brain activ­i­ty quick­ly, and pin­point exact­ly where the activ­i­ty is occur­ring with­in the brain. The researchers will gath­er this data while a human sub­ject is under dif­fer­ent stages of learn­ing and dif­fer­ent vari­ables such as fatigue, atten­tion and memory.

About the Project:

  • Descrip­tion: The Air Force Research Lab­o­ra­to­ry-led Indi­vid­u­al­ized Neur­al Learn­ing Sys­tem project aims to give Air­men the abil­i­ty to rapid­ly acquire knowl­edge and skills through neu­rotech­nol­o­gy. This project was recent­ly award­ed fund­ing as part of the Seedlings for Dis­rup­tive Capa­bil­i­ties Pro­gram, which seeks to “seed” new ideas of par­tic­u­lar inter­est to the Air Force. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it

News in Context:

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SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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