The government is planning to optimize dogs used for the armed forces by developing a puppy-brain scanning technology to detect which dogs are the easiest to train.
New research from Darpa, called "Functional Imaging to Develop Outstanding Service-Dogs," or FIDOS, will use magnetic image resonator scans to look for dogs showing the most potential.
The project will "optimize the selection of ideal service dogs" by looking at their brains and recording "real-time neural feedback."
It will demonstrate how the brain activates in unrestrained dogs in response to a human's cues.
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"The objective of this effort is two-fold; first, to optimize the selection of ideal service dogs, both in operational military and therapy environments, and second, to use real-time neural feedback to optimize canine training, shortening training duration, reducing costs, and increasing learned responses," a document reads.
The US military uses dogs to detect bombs, drugs and even has them participate in advanced missions, like the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden.
Currently, the Pentagon has 2,700 dogs. These dogs were mostly bought from Europe and cost $20,000 to train.
Dogs who have higher brain activity when given cues by handlers may be "faster and easier to train" than dogs with less activity.
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They also believe the technology might be suitable for detecting which dogs would be better at social tasks like rehabilitation.