Washington’s Department of Defence has ploughed an estimated $50million (£38.7million) into scientific research to help better understand the human brain and how to manipulate it.
The military wants to make training more efficient and easier for its recruits so that personnel can better handle future tasks.
The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has assigned the research to eight scientific agencies in a four-year program called Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT).
TNT will look to identify safe and secure neurostimulation methods, which will essentially allow the person to learn new things and make memories at a quicker rate.
Some of its objectives include to help personnel learn foreign languages and more rigorous training of highly technical weapons.
Bioengineer Doug Weber, who manages the TNT programme, said: “The Defence Department operates in a complex, interconnected world in which human skills such as communication and analysis are vital, and the Department has long pushed the frontiers of training to maximise those skills.
“DARPA’s goal with TNT is to further enhance the most effective existing training methods so the men and women of our Armed Forces can operate at their full potential.”
The respective agencies involved will send electrical pulses to the nervous system of animal and human trialists to see how different nerves effect learning processes.
However, it remains to be seen whether this can actually be successfully achieved.
One researcher from the University of Florida, Jennifer L Bizon, said: “There are clinical applications, but very little understanding of why it works.
“We are going to do the systematic science to understand how this stimulation actually drives brain circuits and, ultimately, how to maximise the use of this approach to enhance cognition.”