Thoughts from the trenches: Initial implementation of neuroassessment and neurofeedback with United States Soldiers

Jonathan Metzler, USA

Theme: Mental training/interventions

Program ID: SYM-23

Presentation: October 5, 2013 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Room: Belle Chasse


The Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) program within the United States Army often seeks cutting edge tools, techniques, and technologies to improve Soldier well-being and performance. Recently, neuroassessment and neurofeedback technologies have begun to be evaluated as potential evolving technologies for use by performance consultants at CSF2 Training Centers. Initial experience implementing this technology at two Army installations has stimulated thought regarding a plethora of areas related to the profession of performance psychology. First, the use of qEEG rejuvenates discussion regarding the value and utility of measurement and assessment in performance consultation. Issues of measurement validity are a central concern when engaged in meaningful, real-world application. If neuroassessment is to be used to either indicate substantive change or predict outcomes that are meaningful to Soldiers and their Commanders, content validity and predictive validity must be established. However, neuroassessment does have certain face validity that can be leveraged for stimulating self-reflection and self-awareness which can facilitate performance consultation. Second, assuming value and utility of the technology, several practical issues need to be evaluated. Execution of neuroassessment can be time intensive and may be ideal for one-on-one consultation. In a large educational program such as CSF2, scalability and cost-benefit analysis must be navigated. Lastly, it is apparent that there exists significant variation in experience with and/or training in brain anatomy and neuroscience within performance consultants. As a result, organizations such as CSF2 must invest in training to ensure consistency of application across consultants. Moreover, graduate training programs may add value to their degree recipients with advanced exposure to these competencies. Strategies and experiences related to these central issues in implementation of neuroassessment and neurofeedback will be detailed in this part of the symposium.

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