Feeds

DHS trials musical brainscan wellness tech on US firemen

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

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.