Accession Number:



The Warfighter's Stress Response: Telemetric and Noninvasive Assessment

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. 15 Nov 2001-30 Sep 2002

Corporate Author:


Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The authors investigations into the effects of stressful military training have shown that individuals exhibiting superior performance differ significantly from individuals exhibiting poor performance in their psychological and biological responses to stress. Stress-hardy individuals retain mental focus and clarity of memory under stress, commit fewer errors during stress, experience less burnout, demonstrate better navigational skills, and are able to stay physiologically calmer during potentially life-threatening events and during uncontrollable stress. To ascertain individual differences in stress responses, they investigated the effects of stressful military training on physiological and cognitive functioning of armed forces members. Noninvasive saliva sampling was used to assess hormonal stress levels, and novel telemetric technology was developed for untethered measurements of heart rate variability HRV. Hormonal responses to stress were studied in Aviation Preflight Indoctrination API students reporting to the Naval Operational Medicine Institute NOMI in Pensacola, FL, for water survival training Special Forces members and aircrew reporting to Brunswick Naval Air Station NAS and Ft. Bragg for Survival Resistance Evasion and Escape SERE training and military members across the services reporting to the Combat Diver Qualification Course CDQC at Trumbo NAS, Key West, FL. They compare these physiological measures with training performance, cognitive performance, and measures of psychological stress. The results show that assessment of HRV provides a noninvasive means of evaluating the neural systems intimately involved in the capacity to attend to and respond to a threat. These findings linking HRV to cognitive performance robustly support the utility of HRV in the assessment of human performance. Due to Institutional Review Board delays no human subject data are available for this report. A 6-month extension has been requested. 42 refs.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Biomedical Instrumentation and Bioengineering
  • Escape, Rescue and Survival

Distribution Statement: