The US Department of Defence agency DARPA is looking into ways to hack the human brain to enhance cognitive ability. To do so, DARPA will be using the Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT) program, which aims to use the body’s peripheral nervous system to accelerate the learning process by activating a process known as synaptic plasticity. The program was announced last year, and now DARPA is funding eight teams to look into how targeting the nervous system with electrical stimulation can enhance learning and accelerate training skills.
“DARPA is approaching the study of synaptic plasticity from multiple angles to determine whether there are safe and responsible ways to enhance learning and accelerate training for skills relevant to national security missions,” Doug Weber, the TNT Program Manager, says in a news release. “The Defence Department operates in a complex, interconnected world in which human skills such as communication and analysis are vital, and the Department has long pushed the frontiers of training to maximize those skills.” The goal is to further enhance the most effective existing training methods and turn them into real-world applications so that soldiers can operate at their full potential.