Sensory Research Divison - Visual Sciences Branch

The Sensory Research Division maintains a unique capability in visual performance research. The objectives of the science and technology (S&T) capability are to establish the visual performance base for development/integration of optical and electro-optical displays in military systems; evaluate physical, physiological, and functional visual performance associated with military occupational demands and combat; and define countermeasures to improve operational visual function and efficiency, particularly as applied to unaided visual target detection, recognition, and identification.

  Research Programs  

Advanced Display Concepts and Physiological Optics

This research will improve image output standards to optimize visual performance with advanced electro-optical designs and visual performance models to predict warfighter performance in operational environments. The National Research Council, in its review of tactical displays for warfighters, identified a major weakness in the understanding of human factors related to perceptual and cognitive issues with such devices.

Advanced Optical Measurement and Correction

The objective of this research is to determine the operational efficacy of refractive surgery for specialized Army applications. Additionally, higher orders of aberration of the eye, as well as corneal physiological modeling, are being investigated to enhance visual performance to 20/8 or better. If found safe and effective, these techniques will provide the capability to increase the recruitment population, enhance visual performance levels, and potentially increase future mission success in visually demanding military occupational specialties.

Visual Performance Modeling

The objective of this research is to develop computer models of human physiology and performance and models of military hardware and operational stressors to assess human performance in an operational environment. Models of interest include health hazards of impulse noise from crew served weapon systems; helmet-mounted and head-up display models for day-night operations; target detection and identification models; and sensory processing models.

Oculometrics and Other Sensory Indices of Alertness, Fatigue, and Time-on-Task

This research aims to assess biologic indices of warfighter fitness for duty using real-time measurements that could be incorporated into the warfighters’ battledress. Research is directed for the simultaneous measurement of an operational performance (e.g., rotary wing hover performance) with biologic measures to yield correlational indices of fatigue, alertness, and operational performance.

Sensory Bio-markers for Traumatic Brain Injury

Nearly 80 percent of the brain’s processing involves sensory signals and cognition associated with sensory perception. In-house research is directed at finding electrophysiological and/or performance indices that may provide early diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury.

Last Updated 09/06/2013

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