Cognitive Enhancement (For Us) Vs. Degradation (For The Enemy)
The USAF has solicited ways and means of enhancing the abilities of our own troops by a variety of means. Not content with merely advantaging our own troops, they also seek to disadvantage the enemy.
Goal is to develop and exploit advances in biotechnology and associated nanotechnologies to enhance performance and situational awareness of the force.
Application and integration of transcriptomics, proteomics and metabonomics, and advanced bioinformatics to identify performance enhancement measures and provide optimal state for mission training conditions and deployed mission performance
Synthetic biology and other aspects of cellular dynamics for systems engineering that capitalize on emerging developments in cognitive, biological, informational and nano sciences.
Development of effective, reliable, and affordable alertness management, performance enhancing and emotional state modulation technologies. Includes non-medical neuroscience and biochemical pathway techniques.
Fans of Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune recall sapho juice, favorite of Mentat Assassins like Thufir Hawatt, for cognitive enhancement.
"I've always prided myself on seeing things the way they truly are," Thufir Hawat said. "That's the curse of being a Mentat. You can't stop analyzing your data."
The leathered old face appeared composed in the predawn dimness as he spoke. His sapho-stained lips were drawn into a straight line with radial creases spreading upward.
As I mentioned, the USAF-sponsored research request also seeks to find technologies that can be used to cloud the minds of our enemies, reducing their operational effectiveness.
Conversely, the chemical pathway area could include methods to degrade enemy performance and artificially overwhelm enemy cognitive capabilities.
Fans of Futurama recall the stupid ray, which seems to be a pretty good description of what the USAF is looking for.
(Stupid ray in action from Futurama)
Philip K. Dick was also fascinated by the idea of degrading enemy performance with targeted weapons. Consider the Garbage-Can Banger from his cold-war classic The Zap Gun:
"It's a missile that wide-cracks in the atmosphere... above the popcen - the population center - which it's aimed at. We place the Judas Iscariot IV above New Moscow, set to wide-crack at half a mile, and it rains down minned - miniaturized - h'd, that means homeostatic -"
"...They're about the size of gum wrappers. They drift throughout the city...
Each pellet, fully cammed, begins to emit a sound... a horrid sneering sound. Buzzing... The point is, it keeps you awake... I mean wide-awake. Once the noise of a Garbage-can Banger gets to you, for example... you never sleep again... You can't perform your job. You're no good to anyone, yourself included."
See also this description (with quote and citation, of course) of the Civic Notification Distorter, which accomplishes the same goal, but targets the enemy's information systems.
From Advances in Bioscience for Airmen Performance (.doc) via News.com.au. Thanks to Moira for the tip on this item.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/16/2010)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Britney Spears And Lynn Minmay - Weapons Of Choice
An attack can take many forms.
DARPA's Warrior Web
'Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing not unlike armor...'- Edmond Hamilton, 1932.
What Camouflage Pattern Is Best?
If you can't see it, you're making progress.
UrbanSim Counterinsurgency Training App
'Why simulation?' 'He's beginning to do things I didn't anticipate.'
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'
When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'
LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'
Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'
Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'
Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'
The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'
Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'
Robot Strolls Field, Examines EVERY Plant
'The great machines that did the work ... required but a few dozen men to cultivate an entire county.'
Sweden Outlaws Drones
'An eye that could not only see, but fly, roam, travel at speeds and in directions to suit its operator...'
Wear Your Self-Powered Generator
'It's basically a micro-sandwich...'
TITAN-III Spider Robot Is WAY Too Quick (Video)
'My little friends can find you wherever you go!'
Bill Gates Suggests Tax On Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot that 'appears or pretends to be human' had to be compensated...'
Handle, New Wheeled Hopping Robot
'the hopper sprang thirty feet into the air...'
Matrix Sentinel Ancestor, The Pipe Inspector Robot From Krakow
Watch out, Keanu!
Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories