Instantiating the progress of neurotechnology for applications in national defense intelligence

Synesis: A Journal of Science, Technology, Ethics, and Policy 2011; 2(1):T 9-16

Mary Layne Kalbfleisch, PhD, Chris Forsythe, PhD

This article outlines a series of intersections that highlight the potential for strategic fruitful support of basic neuroscience research to enhance technological design and training for national defense intelligence efforts. These intersections include ideas related to acclimatizing the defense community for change and adaptation to new definitions of warfare, increasing scientific literacy about neuroimaging methods for improved partnerships between basic and applied research, balancing translation goals between advancing research and enhancing mission capabilities, and aligning social neuroscience paradigms with training needs. The discussion also provides an overview of research activity funded from within and outside Department of Defense agencies from the recent past and work in progress compared with efforts highlighted in the report, “Opportunities in Neuroscience for Future Army Applications” by the National Research Council (2009). Finally, as a means of discussing the migration of neurotechnologies to national security applications, the notions of fitness and enhancing physical health, well-being and quality of life are presented in the context of products and strategies that people currently adopt for these purposes.

Key words: neuroimaging, scientific literacy, neurotechnology, social neuroscience, individual differences