US Military Wants to Develop Sixth-Sensing Super Soldiers

Call it "intuition," call it a "gut feeling"—either way the U.S. Office of Naval Research wants to train soldiers to harness their inner-Spidey Sense and improve their chances of getting out of battle alive and intact.

The ONR is researching ways to enhance a soldier's ability to, "detect and act on unique patterns without consciously and intentionally analyzing them." Essentially, they want to be able to instill the reflexes and instincts of battle-hardened veterans into first-deployment soldiers. To do this, the ONR wants to train soldiers to rely the flood of cues and information that the human mind constantly—and subconsciously—pulls in and processes. The process is known as "implicit learning" and is essentially the same as riding a bicycle—it's the gradual build-up in experience that grants a new ability.

This learning would eventually take place in realistic battlefield training simulations, however, the ONR first requires further research into the mechanisms of "implicit learning" and how to best apply it on a case-by-case basis. [LiveScience]

Image: The Men Who Stare at Goats