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Engineering Psychology Research








Determining Relationship between Changes in Circulating p11 levels to Seasonal Changes in Mood

The project aims to assess the potential of tracking Seasonal Affective Disorder (think February) among cadets using advanced molecular biology techniques. COL James Ness, Academy Professor in BS&L, Vasiliki Georgoulas, Research Psychologist in BS&L, Dr. J. Ken Wickiser (C&LS), and cadets Jaclyn Kalik, Giovanna Camacho, Eric Triller, Jessica Jordan, Alyssa Sohn, and Malcolm Dickerson, were trained on biological sample collection and processing techniques in order to assess the levels of a protein called p11 that Dr. Svenningsson and Nobel Laureate Paul Greengard (Rockefeller University) discovered serves as a biomarker for depression. The project, supported by a grant from US Army Medical Research and Material Command, will track cadets‘ levels of p11, psychological self assessments, and light levels.



Relationship Between Simulated Hearing Loss and Performance in Paintball Scenarios

This project aims to assess soldier effectiveness in close combat will vary non-linearly with level of hearing loss. As previous research has shown, many soldiers' hearing degrades while in combat, in excess of 30 dB range.








The New SIP-Hut: A Vestibule Design Accounting for Issues Related to Human Factors

The purpose of this study is to provide a recommendation of whether the SIP-Hut’s vestibule design is one that would be a valuable investment to the Army.

Currently, deployed soldiers generally live in cramped units, storing their gear on or under their beds. This system provides for unsanitary conditions, crowded and disorderly personal space, and general inefficiency of soldiers. Soldiers presently spend nine to twelve months in deployed environments, so it is necessary to consider their comfort and combat readiness in the SIP-Hut’s design.



Measuring the Hemispheric Shift in Learning with the EEG

Previous research has shown that learning induces a hemispheric shift in brain wave activity. The current study assesses quantitative analysis to measure the hemispheric shift through the use of electroencephalogram (EEG).








Testing Instructional Techniques In Simulation-Based Training

The current study assessed whether having a trainee verbalize their actions and reasoning behind themduring simulation training could have significant benefitsin regards to learning. The proposed study also examinesthe benefits of receiving corrections via an expert duringsimulated tasks in order to bring awareness to the trainee of their error.








Fire Team Performance Under Simulated Threshold Shifts

As a Soldier, effective communication ensures an optimal level of unit performance at all levels of operations. Although technology within the military is increasing at an exponential rate, hearing loss remains prevalent. Inherently, military personnel are often exposed to high sound levels.

What effects does the loss of hearing have on Soldiers in Combat? As a country, the United States has been at war for over a decade. Over the course of these years, Soldiers continue to incur hearing damage. The purpose of this study is to bring empirical data to a continual problem within the Armed Forces. This study focuses on what performance shifts occur at various hearing levels in order to determine a threshold in which Soldier performance diminishes to the point of combat ineffectiveness.



A Physiological Evaluation of a Haptic Simulator: The Effects of Habituation in the Virtusphere

This current study will test whether a participant who is habituated into a haptic simulator, will have decreased levels of heart rate and decreased symptoms of motion sickness.




VBS2: Humanitarian Aid Mission

There is a growing need in the military, and in particular the army, for virtual training. Recent budget cuts and impending downsizing of our force requires us to find cost effective alternatives. This training focuses on the non-kinetic aspects of the current operational theater, while still incorporating the skills necessary to achieve military victory. Examples of such non-kinetic operations include: convoy missions, key leader engagements (KLEs), presence patrols, humanitarian aid, and negotiations. Our focus for this training scenario is the leaders that will be thrust into these complicated situations.










Effects of Differential Hearing Loss on Soldier Survivability and Lethality in Simulated Combat

Hearing loss is endemic among combat veterans and constitutes a threat to the well being of soldiers and the effectiveness of the armed forces. The standards of hearing for military personnel in the US are based on pure tone standards measured in the field. We tested soldier performance under varying levels of simulated hearing loss in a realistic combat-like environment in the hopes of determining the efficacy of the current hearing standards in defining “combat ineffectiveness.” We found anecdotal evidence that hearing loss and combat effectiveness are not directly related. Contrary to what seems intuitive, participants tended to perform better with a moderate level of hearing loss than they did with normal hearing. Further research is needed to increase the scientific power of our findings. Additionally, it would be beneficial to conduct a similar study on hearing loss’ effect in a team environment as this would increase the need for communication.





Virtual Battle Space 2: Operation Raptor

The purposes of this project is to provide alternate means of training in which the soldier is able learns basic tactics applicable to a variety of branches in the Army . This training hopes to improve situational awareness, communication, and teamwork within a unit by presenting the solider with dynamic situations. Our main focus are on the leaders both at the platoon and squad level ensuring that they have a strong foundation on basic solider tactics and proper contingency plans if they fail.














Improving SA: An Evaluation VESARS on Performance in Training

As a force at war in another hemisphere, the US Army does not always have the time or the environments required to train its soldiers for the situations they will encounter in theater. In an attempt to rectify this debilitating issue, the Army has incorporated computer programs designed to instruct the soldiers in their tasks and drills within an environment they can expect to encounter while deployed. These programs give soldiers the chance to improve upon their performance through learning in situations where the stakes: are not life or death and offer failure tolerance. This allows for learning to improve upon the training soldiers are receiving. Despite the ease of use and cost effectiveness of training in simulations rather than in the field, there is still some concern of how simulated training will hold up in real life situations, particularly for a key solider skill such as situational awareness (SA). Anticipating this issue, SA Technologies has theorized that SA can be more thoroughly improved through the use of real-time collection. This study tests whether feedback specific to situation awareness improves performance at a greater rate than AAR feedback or no feedback.



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