Melbourne: The US Army`s science department is working to develop helmets that can influence a soldier`s brain.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) says it is researching technology that stimulates the brain through implants, which allows relieving stress during combat and improves his battlefield awareness.
The helmet will transmit "transcranial pulsed ultrasound" waves into a soldiers`` brain from an external unit and by exerting effects on circuits deep within the brain, the implants can also reduce soldier’s pain.
The man in charge of developing the technology, Dr William Tyler of the Arizona State University, said the implants "remotely and directly stimulate brain circuits without requiring surgery,” reports News.com.au.
Brain implants themselves are not exactly new technology, and are used in severe cases to treat disorders such as depression or Parkinson`s disease.
However, Dr Tyler`s technology does not require surgery and can target areas deep within the brain as small as two millimetres.
Dr Tyler said rather than being invasive, such technology could actually prevent a soldier from incurring irreversible traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
“It’s the metabolic damage, the free radicals and the swelling that are happening in the hours (after a TBI). If you can flick your remote and trigger an immediate intervention, you’d be curbing what might otherwise be lifelong brain damage,” he concluded, talking about the positive aspects of his helmet technology.
First Published: Saturday, September 11, 2010, 18:14