While some jobs in the civilian world are moving towards automation, the Air Force still cares a great deal about the human brain. That’s because human brains are responsible for flying multi-million-dollar aircraft and making life of death decisions based on activity happening half the world away. With so much on the line, it’s imperative that the 711th Human Performance Wing stay abreast of the research techniques that will continue bringing world-class technology to the warfighter.
On June 12-14, WBI brought in Dr. Steve Luck, Director of the Center for Mind and Brain at University of California - Davis, to conduct a 3-day boot camp on Event-Related Potentials (ERP), a measured brain response that is the direct result of a specific sensory, cognitive, or motor event and is a specific form of EEGs). Researchers at WPAFB are using EEG to better understand cognitive processing and cognitive state, including assessments or workload and fatigue and how they influence behavior. The primary objective was to advance the development of junior and intermediate level 711th scientists and engineers in the fundamentals of ERP, as it relates to research activities.
The boot camp attracted 80 participants from AFRL, Wright State, UDRI and several area businesses. Dr. Luck also gave a research talk for the 711th HPW Chief Scientist Seminar Series.
The boot camp is a great platform that has many benefits for the workforce. It efficiently introduces an intensive overview of a new research technique. Rather than missing several days work in the lab to travel to a conference and hear one keynote presentation, attendees can glean more useful information, with less investment. Hosting the event in Dayton meant more people could attend, including partners from the region. While it’s common for researchers to collaborate with universities, it’s usually within known, familiar networks. Boot camps are also an effective platform for building new collaboration partners, including the potential for agreements with universities outside of AFRL’s familiar networks.
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