Scientists creating super soldiers
Reading time: 
7 minutes
Super soldiers are the dream of any state. In the race for discoveries and the expansion of military capacities, researchers not only upgrade robotic systems on an annual basis but also find ways to enhance a human.
francisco-gomes-182329-unsplash.jpg
francisco-gomes-182329-unsplash.jpg
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience published the research in electrical
brain stimulation conducted by the American scientists on the participants from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. This technique allowed for improvement of brain capacities, prompt decision- making, and efficiency of soldiers. Will humans turn into cyborgs or just improve their natural
powers?

An Attention Test
hunter-harritt-326198-unsplash.jpg
hunter-harritt-326198-unsplash.jpg

The research conducted at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, USA has proven the efficacy of electrical brain stimulation on military pilots. The research involved non-invasive brain stimulation technique known as transcranial direct current
stimulation (tDCS). The participants received 2 mA of anodal tDCS through the electrodes placed on their scalps and shoulders. In that manner neurons in the brain became active.

The researchers observed two groups of ten subjects each. The participants were to maintain an object within a moving circle and simultaneously monitor other targets emerged. In
these conditions the first group received a continuous anodal tDCS, and the second group received sham tDCS. Eventually, the results in the first group of operators exceeded those in the
second group by 30%.
joshua-sortino-215039-unsplash.jpg
joshua-sortino-215039-unsplash.jpg


The test confirmed the findings made earlier by many other researchers. Cortical stimulation augments thinking capacity, improves short-term memory and attention concentration, and it also helps to reduce the time for sleep (in the margin).
johannes-groll-229958-unsplash.jpg
johannes-groll-229958-unsplash.jpg

As human capacities of information perception and processing are quite limited, such methods will become one of the key ways ensuring effective operation in the multitasking environment.
The military forces are attracted by proven efficiency of tDCS. What is more, this technique is safer than application of some pharmaceutical drugs.

Records without a ban
steven-lelham-342930-unsplash.jpg
steven-lelham-342930-unsplash.jpg

Electric stimulation not only aims to develop human cognitive capacities but it is actively used in sports. It improves movement coordination and physical stamina of athletes, and thus progress in training, lasting from several weeks to several months, is achieved.
Some athletes avowed that their records were set while using electric stimulation.
Another significant advantage for sports is that tDCS is not a doping drug and its use cannot be proven.

Is electric brain stimulation that safe?
the-roaming-platypus-311630-unsplash.jpg
the-roaming-platypus-311630-unsplash.jpg

Application of tDCS is becoming popular in many areas. To date, it is used in treatment of patients recovering after a stroke or to treat depression. Yet, scientists still have quite ambiguous opinions concerning this method, particularly concerning secure time of electric
stimulation.

Besides, the scientific world is concerned about spreading of analogue electric stimulators for domestic use. A desire to improve mental capacity and augment physical activity can turn bad. The exposure time and proper placement of electrodes come within the
competence of experts. Erroneous independent application of electric stimulators may be dangerous and aggravate brain functions. In addition to the exposure time limits and method of application, these manipulations are generally contraindicated to some people.

Reduced time of sleep, improvement of cognitive functions, development of attention, new physical capacities, and treatment of some diseases – the range of obtained results is really impressive. It is clear that interest in tDCS will only increase. However, it is necessary to remember that tDCS should be used with maximum care and under the supervision of specialists.

Scientists creating super soldiers
Join