Acquisition of a static human target in complex terrain study of perceptual learning utilizing virtual environments
Kammerzell, Robert L.
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Soldiers conducting ground operations must visually detect various dynamic and static threats. While enemy utilization of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) is a constant danger, there is also the requirement to detect the insurgent sniper threat. The U.S. Army has long identified enemy sniper activity as one of great importance to both our individual soldier's survivability and unit operational effectiveness. Specifically, the soldier's visual system and perceptual skills are immediately tasked with categorizing both the environment and any detected threat. This study utilized game engine technology to assess the ability to train subjects in visual target acquisition within a complex virtual environment. The prevalence of computer games within the training realm requires study as to the game engine's ability to support current operations and soldier training. The study's results determined that training improved a subject's target Hit Rate percentage 29% (p = .0001), in comparison to the control group, when presented scenes of increased difficulty. Historically, military-themed computer games have succeeded in providing strategic training value. This study indicates that military themed computer games also assist with individual soldier skills training.
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