Feeds

DHS trials musical brainscan wellness tech on US firemen

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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST
Speculation rife, but Orbital claims it's too early to tell
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM
'What fun!' exlaims NASA boffin who found the LADEE
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.