Military scientists in the US have revealed a series of experiments designs to create ‘supersoldiers’ with enhanced mental capabilities.
The successful tests used electrical brain stimulators to enhance the mental skills of soldiers.
It is hoped the research could lead to treatments for drone operators, air crews and others in demanding roles.
‘Within the Air Force, various operations such as remotely piloted and manned aircraft operations require a human operator to monitor and respond to multiple events simultaneously over a long period of time,’ researchers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio wrote in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
‘With the monotonous nature of these tasks, the operator’s performance may decline shortly after their work shift commences.’
Brain stimulation kits use five electrodes to send weak electric currents through the skull and into specific parts of the cortex.
The team used a test developed by Nasa to assess subject, asking them to keep a crosshair inside a moving circle on a computer screen, while constantly monitoring and responding to three other tasks on the screen.
The study consisted of 20 participants from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (16 male and 4 female) with an average age of 31.1.
Half of the volunteers had a constant two milliamp current beamed into the brain for the 36-minute-long test, and the other half formed a control group who only received 30 seconds of stimulation at the start of the test.