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

p-notch snipers, you don't want to spend a year training them before giving up on half of them," Hegde said. A brain scan could help signal whose relevant areas are well developed and, consequently, have natural skill.

Early evidence points toward two regions of the temporal lobe, found on either side of the brain and known to have a role in speech and vision. A region called the fusiform gyrus which plays a role in facial recognition and lights up when people become experts at recognizing various objects, such as a particular bird species may be important in breaking camouflage as well.

Hegde suspects that expertise at breaking camouflage stems from the fusiform gyrus in combination with some other area(s) of the brain. And, because good recognition skills don't typically translate from one area to another, he also suspects that the parts of the brain involved vary with the object of their attention. For example, the ability to easily recognize the make and model of a car doesn't guarantee skill at breaking camouflage and Hegde notes that some military snipers aren't good at game-hunting.

Vision happens when light enters the retina where photoreceptor cells turn it into signals that are interpreted by the brain. "If there is a whole lot of light falling on them, they send a lot of signals, beep, beep, beep," he said in rapid succession. "If there is a little bit of light they fire slowly." The brain connects the dots to form a familiar face or landscape. Camouflage complicates the task the difference between recognizing a mountain goat against a clear blue sky and finding a moth among a pile of fall leaves.

"Here is the beautiful thing that we are finding out: if you know what you are looking for, the next time you can break the camouflage of the moth. Without knowing what you are looking for, the picture also is ambiguous," Hegde said.
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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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