Brain-Scanning Binoculars Tap Into Soldiers’ Unconscious Minds To Locate Threats

A new breed of devices harnesses the power of the unconscious, unearthing realizations you didn’t know your brain had reached. Popular Science writes:

Soldiers scanning the battlefield for threats may soon get a new tool: a brain-scanning set of binoculars that can pick up on a soldier’s unconscious recognition of a potential threat and bring it to his conscious attention. It’s just one of many ways DARPA and other military research groups are looking to have soldiers mind-meld with their machines and materiel, and it demonstrates how remarkably close we are to deploying mind-control on the battlefield.

The specific binocular device that DARPA is developing is known as Sentinel (for System for Notification of Threats Inspired by Neurally Enabled Learning), and it basically uses the power of the human brain to scan and filter imagery in realtime, picking up on both what the soldier recognizes consciously and what his unconscious might perceive as well. Through electroencephalogram (EEG), the device can pick up on a brain signal known as P300 that signifies an unconscious recognition of something visual.

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  • Calypso_1

    If soldiers are on anti-fear drugs will they percieve threats?

    • unusually unusual

      Threats would have to be dealt with logically without fear. Minimizing fear based responses is already on the training agenda of most armies, and has been for about 3,000 years.

      • Calypso_1

        This is true but if a neural integrated system were designed to enhance awareness of threats based on upon monitoring of a P300 signal then chemically extinguishing fear response within the amygdala will negatively condition vigilance based feedback with the visual cortex.    

        • unusually unusual

          Which is really the crux of the whole “Super Soldier” argument. Unless the Emperor appears and creates Astartes whole cloth, working piece meal through drugs and conditioning will only produce inferior Soldiers. Inferior Soldiers are not profitable.

          • unusually unusual

            The Government already is working on it. We’ll have a Super Soldier within the next generation if you pay DARPA enough.

            We have to burn DARPA.

  • BuzzCoastin

    every military is a totalitarian system
    and every soldier is a slave of that system
    increasingly the “soldiers” are being manufactured into cyborg warriors

    they need this system for their cyborg warriors
    because the drugs and the chips have impaired human consciousness
    and they’re hoping that the cyborg’s unconscious is still under their control

  • GiraffeCrab

    I wonder if repressed trauma or unconscious obsessions/hates/fears will manafest on the binoculars. Say one soldier has beaten by his father constantly when he was younger, could the binoculars pick up that any man with a similar beard to his fathers as a threat? I would like to hear that a solider thought that all the pictures of batman he saw were threats because of the binoculars and went around shooting posters of batman and telling his superiors that the bad guys are hiding bombs in pictures of batman. 

    • GiraffeCrab

      Because of his fear of bats (i forgot that bit) …

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