In modern military operations the ability to react with agility and speed while a situation unfolds is critical. Measuring one’s mental preparedness, termed ‘Operational Cognitive Readiness’ (OCR), could potentially help predict how an individual would perform in such unpredictable circumstances.
To investigate this, Deakin University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) engaged PhD student Luke Crameri, with the support of a DSI-facilitated RHD Student Grant.
Fascinated by the role that psychological factors play in enhancing overall performance – an interest cultivated through an ongoing enthusiasm for competitive sport – Luke investigated techniques to assess resilience through more objective, in-situational methods.
“Current models of OCR are relatively outdated and do not consider the role that one’s dynamic state plays in building OCR. To address this, we created and examined the feasibility of a dynamic resilience metric using cognitive and physiological measures,” said Luke.
With a background in cognitive psychology, the psychophysiological research required for the project meant Luke needed to expand his skill set, which is where the RHD Student Grant proved useful.
“The DSI grant provided the resources to upskill myself professionally in the application of signal processing, which proved instrumental in conducting my research,” Luke said.
Additionally, the chance to work under the supervision of IISRI’s Associate Professor Samer Hanoun and Dr Imali Hettiarachchi along with advice from DSTG scientists provided Luke the opportunity to learn from leaders in the field.
Luke's research and the development of the dynamic resilience metric has significant potential for Defence. Supervisors can be more confident that their working personnel are mentally prepared to operate within dynamic, complex and uncertain task environments, paving the way for a more resilient armed force.
Luke Crameri’s story of research progression is one of many at DSI and demonstrates how research outcomes from a variety of fields and disciplines are transferable and of value within the defence sector.