Human Subjects Research
DCS supports U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Army Research Laboratory (ARL) efforts in basic research and applied research. DCS scientists execute customer-funded research programs, with DCS engineers designing and developing complex integrated systems for human-in-the-loop experimentation, and DCS research assistants collecting the data.
Human Physiological Measurement
DCS engineers designed and developed the Multi Aspect Real-world Integrated Neuroimaging (MARIN) system, integrating a broad array of wearable human physiological sensors, such as EEG, ECG, EDA, Eye Tracking, and accelerometers, to support ARL research in real-world environments, including a real-world driving study conducted on interstate highways in the Aberdeen, MD area.
Several applications of the MARIN system have been developed, with customized modifications, for other ARL experimental research efforts, including the following:
- Everyday Wear Stress Study (Study of Stress in real world environment),
- Parkinson’s Study – Used to perform clinical diagnostics and predict falls in Parkinson’s patients
- ARPI SA2 T&E System – Used to collect physio data for use with RSVP system
- CAN CTA RWN-VDE – Real-World Driving study conducted in vehicle on open road
- CAN CTA TNO Collaboration – Real-World Driving on a closed course
- Innovation Commons – Pervasive Sensing of 25 simultaneous users in a laboratory environment
- Social Behavioral Experiment – Data collection of teams of up 4 people coordinating in social gaming tasks
Big Data for Human Sensing
DCS has supported several ARL studies in which EEG and other physiological measures were collected from human subjects performing experimental tasks. DCS and its research partners have since collaborated to design, implement, and execute a data standardization and validation pipeline to facilitate “big data analysis” for EEG and other human sensing data via the Standardized Annotated Neurophysiological Data Repository (SANDR). The repository holds data from 700+ subjects with 850+ hours of EEG data. There are 3+ million events, which have been tagged using a common naming methodology to enable cross-study event analysis. DCS engineers also designed, built, administer, and maintain the CaN CTA Consortium Data Server (C3DS), which hosts the SANDR data sets. A DCS-built searchable web-facing data catalog offers users a chance to browse for events or sensing modalities of interest, and request access to the data.
DCS develops desktop, mobile and virtual reality gaming applications in support of ARL human subjects research and experimentation. The DCS team has experience developing a number of novel games as well as experience with augmenting commercial and open source games. DCS game development experience ranges from simple single player games to complex multi-user networked simulations, developed across number of common frameworks, including Unity, Unreal, and Qt. All game system are integrated with MARIN to provide physiological context to user behaviors.
DCS supports ARL’s goal of real-time human measurement and prediction through the engineering design and development of the Innovation Commons. The DCS team has developed an architectural backbone and the integration software for large-scale data sensing, transmission, and recording.
Information for Mixed Squads Laboratory (INFORMS)
DCS engineers designed and built two surrogate Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) assemblies at the ARL INFORMS laboratory to support rapid prototyping of human-agent interaction methods and contexts. The surrogate NGCV’s feature seven crewstations, each with touchscreen displays, a multi-function steering yoke, throttle/brake, pedals, a communication headset, and a haptic belt for presenting tactile informational cues. DCS engineers also develop the INFORMS crewstation software, along with several study-specific innovations to provide the required experimental data. The DCS team has also integrated the MARIN system in the INFORMS lab.