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Using Neurological Feedback to Enhance Resilience and Recuperation

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During the NATO RTO- Human Factors Medicine panel symposium on Mental health and well-being across the military spectrum we will present some recent developments in the use of bio- and neurofeedback to support and enhance recovery and recuperation after expeditory military deployment. Applying such technology is possible due to our rapidly developing knowledge on the neurological systems underlying stress, performance and recuperation. Parallel to the necessary scientific developments, technological developments and ever more inspiring design make it possible to use the monitored physiological an neurological signals in interactive and stimulating settings contrary to the generally dull and straight forward tasks used until recently. As such consumer, or gamer compliance increases what makes it possible to transfer bio- and neurofeedback out of the laboratory and generally strictly scientific environment to a broader public. However, before taking this important step, we considered it opportune to investigate if and how bio- and neurofeedback can contribute to recovery, recuperation, stress management and well being in general. For this reason the Dutch armed forces, in cooperation with TNO, initiated a research program to investigate the potential of bio- and neurofeedback paradigms and to evaluate the developed paradigms on their usability within the military domain. For this purpose 160 soldiers of the Dutch 200 Logistic Battalion will be assigned after deployment in Afghanistan to either a biofeedback gaming intervention neurofeedback training or just leisure time each 10 sessions of approximately 30 minutes. After the intervention program these groups will be compared on mental health and well-being, stress management and experience, and physiological markers of stress, anxiety and depression. During the upcoming symposium the development of the intervention protocols preliminary results and our experiences will be presented and discussed.

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  • Biology
  • Anatomy and Physiology

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