March 23, 2016

"For researchers at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), there just may be no place like dome."

US Army: Thanks to its new virtual-reality dome, NSRDEC's Cognitive Science and Applications Team will be better able to study the impact of real-world operational situations on a Soldier's cognitive abilities and performance. by Jane Benson via NSRDEC Public Affairs

'"The new VR laboratory will provide the Cognitive Science and Applications Team the ability to conduct research using more operationally relevant scenarios while still maintaining experimental control in our studies," said Dr. Caroline Mahoney, team leader for NSRDEC's Cognitive Science and Applications Team. "This capability brings our tightly controlled laboratory work one step closer to the field/operationally relevant environment."

'The concave virtual-reality system provides a full 180-degree horizontal field and uses high-density, front-projection to create a high-resolution, visual world. The system enables participants to have immersive experiences in seamless virtual environments, which are modeled after real-world locations.

'"This NSRDEC virtual reality capability affords novel applied, interdisciplinary science and technology activities that close traditional translational gaps between laboratory and field," Mahoney said. "The integration of multiple input modalities, along with multisensory feedback, increases the realism, immersion and engagement on behalf of users subjected to prolonged, workload-intensive activities.

'"These novel integrations provide unprecedented opportunities to monitor and optimize human behavior during real-world task execution, and to evaluate and predict the impact of innovative human-systems technologies on operational performance."'

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