The Humvee engine rumbles as you drive through a stretch of desert in Iraq, past the occasional cluster of low buildings along a street strewn with trash.
Suddenly, the vehicle in front of you explodes and the sky begins to fill with smoke. Just beyond the wreck, you see the silhouette of an insurgent shooting to kill any survivors or rescuers. As the scene plays out on tiny screens mounted to the goggles you wear, the radio chatter playing in your headphones erupts in panic, and the smell of diesel fuel wafts over you.
A brain-computer interface (BCI), or brain-machine interface (BMI), represents a method for connecting the biological brain to an external technological device. Connections can be made by invasive techniques that involve surgical implants or non-invasive techniques where brain signals are received through external sensors.
Free. Anonymous. Available 24/7. Any Internet user recognizes those as buzzwords to shop, chat and surf the Web. But one website aims to shift the meaning of “free, anonymous and available 24/7.”
AfterDeployment.org, the online wellness resource for military members, is marking its fifth anniversary this month. The website was launched in August 2008 after a congressional mandate for the creation of pilot projects that would offer interactive mental health material for service members and their families.
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