Battle Rattle

Researchers want to help Marines develop their ‘spidey sense’

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The Office of Naval Research is examining a way to help Marines develop their "spidey sense" while making split-second decisions on the battlefield. (Office of Naval Research)

The Office of Naval Research is examining a way to help Marines develop their intuitive “spidey sense” while making split-second decisions on the battlefield. (Office of Naval Research)

Experts want to tap into the way Marines make decisions based on hunches to see if there’s a way to further develop their “sixth sense” and help them guess right more often than not.

Most warfighters develop their gut instincts through time and experience, said Lt. Cmdr. Brent Olde with the Office of Naval Research, according to a news release. But now ONR experts want to apply their studies in neural, cognitive and behavioral sciences to help Marines and sailors develop those instincts earlier in their careers.

The goal is to help them tap into their “spidey sense” when making split-second decisions that require them to making rapid, unconscious interpretations of their surroundings, the release states. A team of scientists will study factors such as memory and perception to better understand how decisions are made and whether there are ways to improve premonition through training.

“Ultimately, this is about sailors and Marines being able to harness their gut instincts in situations where they need to act quickly,” said Dr. Peter Squire, a program officer with ONR, according to the release. “But first, we have to understand what gives rise to this so-called ‘sixth sense.’ Can we model it? Is there a way to improve it through training?”

ONR will conduct the research over a four year period. You can read more about the study here.

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Comments

  1. Ed Snowden Says:
    April 2nd, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Gina, please stop using “spidey sense” when discussing this project. We’re not 8 year olds.

  2. Gina Harkins Says:
    April 2nd, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    “Ed Snowden,”

    Please see the ONR press release that calls it exactly that — I took the “spidey sense” reference directly from their headline.

    http://www.onr.navy.mil/en/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2014/ONR-studies-intuitive-decision-making.aspx

    Thanks,
    Gina

  3. Little Timmy Says:
    April 2nd, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Hi I’m 12 and what is this

  4. Little Amir Says:
    April 2nd, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Hi I’m twelve and many of my friends have birth defects, I was born after the Iraq war what is this is this similar to depleted uranium infused ammunition I am afraid for my family

  5. Brian Fulton Says:
    April 3rd, 2014 at 2:08 am

    Its called woods smarts, it comes from reading The Tigers Way, very informative on this sixth sense, and makes it clear that the best way to survive is by harnessing your senses. This is more clear that being the sixth sense doesn’t exist it makes you aware that you can harness many skills from regular senses…

  6. Brian Fulton Says:
    April 3rd, 2014 at 2:12 am

    don’t care, but you should read the Tigers Way.

  7. Derek R Says:
    April 3rd, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    If your referring to using testing “Imprinting” as a means to train Marines, just say sensory training… “Crafty nicknames” take the seriousness away from research.