Via Boston Globe
For some modern soldiers, caffeine is just not enough to stay vigilant, especially for the growing ranks of digital warriors who must spend hours monitoring spy drone footage and other streams of surveillance data.
So the Pentagon is exploring a novel way to extend troops’ attention spans and sharpen their reaction times: stimulate the brain with low levels of electricity.
It sounds like science fiction, but commanders in search of more effective tools than the ubiquitous cups of coffee and energy drinks are testing medical treatments designed to treat such brain disorders as depression to determine whether they can also improve the attentiveness of sleepdeprived but otherwise healthy troops.
Early experiments using “noninvasive” brain stimulation have been performed on several dozen volunteers at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. The results show the technique improves both alertness and acuity, researchers say.