Program Manager: Todd Hughes, Ph.D. (AEO)
The vision for the Neurotechnology for Intelligence Analysts (NIA) program is to revolutionize the way that analysts handle intelligence imagery, increasing both the throughput of imagery to the analyst and overall accuracy of the assessments. Current computer-based target detection capabilities cannot process vast volumes of imagery with the speed, flexibility, and precision of the human visual system. Investigations of visual neuroscience mechanisms have indicated that the human brain is capable of responding to visually salient objects significantly faster than an individual’s visual-motor, transformation-based (i.e., movement) response.
The NIA program seeks to identify robust brain signals that are amenable to recording in an operational environment and process these in real time to select images worthy of further review. The program aims ultimately to apply these triage methods to static, broad-area, and video imagery. Successful development of a neurobiologically based image triage system will increase the speed and accuracy of image analysis in a context where the number of acquired images is expected to rise significantly. In sum, the results of the NIA program will enable image analysts to train more effectively and process imagery with greater speed and precision.