Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Training and Effectiveness

Methods and technologies to improve warfighter skills

Showing 5 results for Training + Neuroscience RSS
03/16/2016
The body’s branching network of peripheral nerves connects neurons in the brain and spinal cord to organs, skin, and muscles, regulating a host of biological functions from digestion to sensation to locomotion.
04/26/2017
In March 2016, DARPA announced the Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT) program, an effort to enlist the body’s peripheral nervous system to achieve something that has long been considered the brain’s domain alone: facilitation of learning. Work on TNT has now begun. The crux of the wide-ranging program is to identify optimal and safe neurostimulation methods for activating “synaptic plasticity”—a natural process in the brain, pivotal to learning, that involves the strengthening or weakening of the junctions between two neurons—then build those methods into enhanced training regimens that accelerate the acquisition of cognitive skills.
The Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program aims to mitigate the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in military Service members by developing neurotechnologies to facilitate memory formation and recall in the injured brain. More than 270,000 Service members have been diagnosed with TBI since 20001. The condition frequently results in an impaired ability to retrieve memories formed prior to injury and a reduced capacity to form or retain new memories following injury. Despite the scale of the problem, few effective therapies currently exist to mitigate the long-term consequences of TBI on memory. Enabling restoration of memory function would support military readiness by providing injured personnel the option of returning to duty, and would improve quality of life for wounded veterans.
The Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT) program supports improved, accelerated training of military personnel in multifaceted and complex tasks. The program is investigating the use of non-invasive neurotechnology in combination with training to boost the neurochemical signaling in the brain that mediates neural plasticity and facilitates long-term retention of new cognitive skills. If successful, TNT technology would apply to a wide range of defense-relevant needs, including foreign language learning, marksmanship, cryptography, target discrimination, and intelligence analysis, improving outcomes while reducing the cost and duration of the Defense Department’s extensive training regimen.
Program Manager
Dr. Bartlett Russell joined DARPA as a program manager in April of 2019. Her work focuses on understanding the variability of human cognitive and social behavior to enable the decision-maker, improve analytics, and generate autonomous and AI systems that enable human adaptability. Prior to joining DARPA, Russell was a senior program manager and lead of the human systems and autonomy research area in Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Laboratories.