Feeds

DHS trials musical brainscan wellness tech on US firemen

'Federal agents' to get Russian bonce-sonata boost, too

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has unveiled plans to enhance the performance of firemen and federal agents by playing them special music synthesized from their own brain waves.

"Every brain has a soundtrack," note the DHS Science & Technology people. "When that soundtrack is recorded and played back - to an emergency responder, or a firefighter - it may sharpen their reflexes during a crisis, and calm their nerves afterward ... the influence of music on emotional well-being has emerged as a hot field of scientific study."

The DHS "Brain Music" programme uses a version of the "Brain Music Therapy" technology provided by Virginia-based firm Human Bionics LLC. This works by measuring a subject's brain signatures using an electroencephalogram and turning them into synthesized piano music - either a stress-reducing relaxation track, or an alertness-boosting one "for improved concentration and decision-making". These tend to sound like Chopin and Mozart respectively, according to Robert Burns, brain-tunes programme chief at the DHS.

"Strain comes with an emergency response job, so we are interested in finding ways to help these workers remain at the top of their game when working and get quality rest when they go off a shift," adds Burns. "Our goal is to find new ways to help first responders perform at the highest level possible."

The bonce-sonata kit "is derived from patented technology developed at Moscow University to use brain waves as a feedback mechanism to correct physiological conditions", it says here. It will form part of the DHS Readiness Optimization Program, in which "nutrition, education and neurotraining" will be used to boost the operational performance of American police, firefighters and "federal agents". However, the first guinea pigs will be "a selected group of local area firefighters".

The DHS has helpfully supplied an example bit of biofeedback mind-music, which you can download here.

In addition to their Russian twitch-suppressing brainwave feedback CDs, it seems plausible that US federal operatives will also soon be issued with special floppy pocketwatches. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
Who wants to be there as history is made at the launch of our LOHAN space project?
Two places available in the chase plane above the desert
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.