Please join Dr. Jeff Solka during BCB Colloquium on Tuesday, April 17th from 4:30 - 6:00 pm.  Bull Run Hall Room 252.  The featured presenter is Dr. Peter Squire from NSWCDD/ONR.

Understanding the Correlation between Warfighter Performance and Genetic Polymorphisms

Dr. Peter Squire NSWCDD/ONR

Although most people have similar genotypes, the genetic makeup of a cell, an organism, or a person, there are differences in genetic makeup between people. These genetic differences, along with environmental factors (e.g., where you grew up), can influence the observed properties such as behavioral characteristics like working memory, visual-attention, and operational performance (phenotype expressions). Research has shown differences between people based on genetic makeup and behavioral expression (e.g., a person with a specific genetic makeup gets more answers correct on a working memory task than a person with a different genetic makeup). However, much of this work has been conducted within a university laboratory setting using cognitive tasks, not in an applied setting. The goal of this effort is to determine if a genetic approach is a viable method for individual assessment in an applied setting. I will discuss two efforts that we are conducting to investigate the feasibility and utility of predicting individual operational performance based on specific genetic differences of active duty military personnel attending a training course. The purpose of this study is to gain a greater understanding of the relationships between genetics, behavioral characteristics, and operational performance, with regard to working memory and visual attention.

 Tiffany Sandstrum
School of Systems Biology
George Mason University
MS 5B3, 10900 University Blvd.
Manassas, VA 20110
Phone (703)993-8449, Fax (703)993-8976
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