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Behavioral Biology

Investigators in this program are concerned with the challenge of maintaining Warfighter alertness and decision-making ability in the face of limited and fragmented sleep and recovery time during combat and sustained training operations. Using information from the field, the program's specially designed human sleep research labs, brain imaging studies, and a variety of mathematical modeling and simulation tools, scientists are gaining deeper understanding of relationships among cognitive performance, the amount and timing of sleep, the ability to “bank” sleep against future demand, the action and effects of stimulant and sleep-inducing drugs, and the role of sleep in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and recovery from head injury.

  • To investigate and develop the means to optimize Warfighter readiness, efficacy, and resilience during continuous military operations when there is little or no opportunity to sleep.
  • To identify the role of sleep in facilitating resilience to, and recovery from, exposure to a variety of combat-related stressors.
Research Priorities:
  • Interventions to enhance the recuperative efficiency of sleep, and enhance Service Member resilience to the deleterious physical and psychological effects of sleep loss.
  • Sleep-related strategies to enhance resilience to, and recovery from, mTBI events
  • Development of a mathematical performance prediction model as a fatigue management tool for use in operational environments.
  • Alertness and performance management, including development and validation of
    • Hardware and software to predict cognitive readiness in Service Members.
    • Pharmacological interventions to restore and sustain readiness and mitigate PTSD.
    • Neurocognitive assessment testing; and
    • Animal models of PTSD.
  • Neuroimaging studies to determine the biological basis of sleep-related performance deficits and the physiological basis of individual differences in resilience to sleep loss and other stressors.

To read more about the Institute's Behavioral Biology Branch, click here PDF Icon

Last Modified Date: 09-September-2016

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