[Editor’s Note:  Army Mad Scientist is pleased to present our latest episode of The Convergence podcast, recorded on location at I/ITSEC 2022, the world’s largest modeling and simulation conference in Orlando, Florida.  Co-hosts Luke Shabro and Matt Santaspirt spoke with Dr. Maria Kozhevnikov about non-relaxing meditative states, enhanced cognition, the relationship between video games and reaching that enhanced cognitive state, and the associated ramifications for Army training — Enjoy!]

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Maria Kozhevnikov, Associate Professor of Psychology at the National University of Singapore and Visiting Associate Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, is a cognitive neuroscientist with an interest in enhancing human cognition and understanding the potential of the human mind.  Her research uses modern technology, such as augmented, virtual, and mixed reality (AR/VR/MR), as well as ancient meditative techniques.  The following bullet points highlight key insights gleaned from our interview with Dr. Kozhevnikov: 

Meditation is a great technique to induce relaxation and reduce stress, but there are many different kinds of meditation. To enhance cognitive capacity, a type of meditation can be used to induce stress to an individual in order for them to learn from it and combat it in a controlled environment.

Meditation which is arousal-based or “good stress”-based will deliver stress that the individual can handle while still focusing on and completing the task at hand.This type of meditation is more suited to Soldiers on the battlefield who will be operating in austere environments with external factors competing for their focus.

Arousal-based meditation releases adrenaline into the blood stream(as opposed to cortisol being released from “bad stress”).  Adrenaline triggers the body’s “fight or flight” response, which in turn amplifies cognitive and mental resources to meet the demand of the task at hand.

People process information about the space around them in two ways: allocentric and egocentric. Allocentric processing involves an individual interpreting objects in space as they relate to other objects in space, while egocentric processing involves an individual interpreting objects in space as they relate to their own body. This distinction is important because it identifies two different ways in which learning and training occurs. It’s very important for a pilot to be egocentric while it’s important for an air traffic controller to be allocentric. Different job types require different learning methods.

Game-based training does not necessarily have to be immersive or high fidelity to effectively train the mind.Two-dimen

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