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Researchers work to help soldiers break camouflage
Date:3/30/2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. Researchers want to help the Army better camouflage its soldiers and break the enemy's efforts to hide.

"We want to make our camouflage unbreakable and we want to break the camouflage of the enemy," said Dr. Jay Hegde, neuroscientist in the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University.

Hegde and GHSU Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Xing Chen are using a relatively simple technique they developed to teach civilian volunteers to break camouflage. They flash a series of camouflage pictures on a computer screen, providing about a half second after each to spot, for instance, a face in a sea of mushrooms. A green light signals a correct answer and a red light signals an incorrect answer. The computer-generated images include distractions to make the difficult task even more challenging.

They are finding that an hour of daily training in as little as two weeks results in proficiency for 60 percent of the mostly college and graduate school students who have signed up for their training. The Army's current approach is taking soldiers into battlefield situations to hone these skills.

As part of a three-year grant from the Office of Army Research, the researchers want to determine which parts of the brain light up when trained snipers break camouflage.

"We need to figure out how the expert camouflage-breakers do it," Hegde said. "We want to figure out what parts of the brain are most responsive when people break camouflage and, a related experiment is what part of the brain changes its response when people learn to break camouflage." Their techniques include functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure blood flow activity as an indicator of brain cell activity.

Figuring out which parts of the brain are involved could give the Army and others a better way to identify future first-rate snipers and objectively assess instructional efforts.

"If you are the Dean of the Army Sniper Corps and want to develop to
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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-4421
Georgia Health Sciences University
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

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