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Improving Warfighter Information Intake Under Stress (AugCog)


Military operators must frequently perform cognitively demanding tasks in stressful environments. The AugCog program has developed technologies to mitigate sensory or cognitive overload and restore operational effectiveness by extending the information management capacity of the warfighter. This is accomplished through closed-loop computational systems that adapt to the state of the warfighter and thereby significantly improve performance.

Program objectives include adaptive strategies that will mitigate specific information processing bottlenecks that are roadblocks to increased performance and information flow. These strategies include—

  • Intelligent interruption to improve limited working memory.
  • Attention management to improve focus during complex tasks.
  • Cued memory retrieval to improve situational awareness and context recovery.
  • Modality switching (i.e., audio, visual) to increase information throughput.

Real-world demonstrations and close collaboration with Service partners has shown that the AugCog approach is successful in contexts ranging from dismounted infantry to aviation.  Furthermore, such technologies have the potential to enhance operational capability currently beyond reach (e.g., the control of multiple entities by one operator), support the reduction in the numbers of persons required to perform current functions, and improve human performance in stressful operational environments.

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