Development of a Field-Practical Automated Battery for Assessing and Monitoring Cognitive Readiness

Period of Performance: 11/30/2001 - 05/30/2002

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nti, Inc.
927 Fred Johnston Drive
Fairborn, OH 45324
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Even as military conflict becomes more complex and technologically sophisticated, it is evident that there is a need to focus attention on the individual as both warrior and system controller. DoD is committed to optimizing the warfighter's physical, psychological, and cognitive capabilities to permit him/her to successfully operate in an information-rich and high stress environment. One result of this commitment has been the development of cognitive assessment/readiness test batteries based on a variety of diverse theoretical underpinnings. This has given rise to batteries that often overlap cognitive functions, or worse, fail to consider warfighter cognitive skills that are critical to mission success. In Phase I, NTI will survey current cognitive models and test batteries and will develop a final recommended state-of-the-art battery that will encompass behavioral and physiological measures of skills critical to military and civilian missions. This battery will consider simple cognitive skills, metacognitive skills, and affective states that may modulate performance (e.g., stress measures). A panel of experts from Army, Navy, and Air Force human performance research programs, as well as from other Government and civilian agencies will be assembled to review the test development process. Phase II will include validation and evaluation of this multidimensional automated tool. The importance of cognitive readiness ranges far outside of military applications. For example, companies in which employees perform safety critical jobs will benefit from knowing the cognitive status of their workers. These industries include the airlines, truck and bus companies, pharmaceutical industry, hospitals, and so on. A well-developed, validated, portable, cognitive readiness assessment battery could have significant impact on the safety records of such industries. In addition, researchers world-wide are often interested in acquiring reputable batteries for use in their own human performance research programs.