October 24, 2018

Engineering Supersoldiers: Boost in Lethality May Come From Within

Featuring Andrew Herr, and Elsa B. Kania

Source: Association of the United States Army

Journalist Patricia Kime

When Sgt. 1st Class Victor Medina received groundbreaking therapy in 2012 involving virtual reality and computer-generated puzzles to help recover from a brain injury sustained in Iraq, he wasn’t thinking about the future of the Army. As one of the first patients at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence in Bethesda, Md., Medina needed help to improve cognitive function, including memory, focus, reaction time and speech.

At the time, such problem-solving and stimulation therapy was used to treat injuries, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders and was considered a possible treatment for those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

But those therapies also had implications for future warfighters, as researchers were beginning to probe whether the treatments could make current and future soldiers faster, smarter and maybe even stronger.

When Medina started treatment, he couldn’t walk, talk or speak. He credits brain training with helping him recover sufficiently to return to school and earn a master’s degree.

“It was key to rewiring my brain, and I think it gave me the strength to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Medina, now retired.

Read the full article and more on the Association of the United States Army website.

  • Andrew Herr

    Adjunct Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Andrew Herr is an Adjunct Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program at CNAS, the CEO of Helicase, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Security Studies at Geor...

  • Elsa B. Kania

    Adjunct Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Elsa B. Kania is an Adjunct Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Her research focuses on Chinese military...