Infoscitex Research Psychologist, Lindsey McIntire, has been awarded the Marie Marvingt Award for Excellence and Innovation in Aerospace Medicine by the Aerospace Medical Association. The Marie Marvingt award was established in memory of a French pilot and surgical nurse who assisted in the conception and development of air ambulance services for more than 50 years. The prestigious award, presented on September 2, 2021 in Denver, Colorado, recognizes excellence and innovation in aerospace medicine.

Ms. McIntire was recognized for her many outstanding contributions to innovative research including enhancing warfighter performance through non-invasive neuromodulation techniques. Her team was the first to introduce these techniques to the Department of Defense and apply them to improve cognition. After a decade of laboratory research, operational units are now testing these techniques to accelerate learning and mitigate fatigue.

As a senior member of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS) Team, Ms. McIntire is leading an effort to discover novel fatigue countermeasures that are longer lasting and have fewer side effects than traditional chemical interventions. Since 2014, Ms. McIntire’s research into a form of non invasive brain stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), has found that tDCS can sustain attention for 6 hours under sleep deprivation conditions and enhance arousal for up to 24-hours after a single dose compared to 2 hours of benefit from caffeine. This technology is aimed at revolutionizing how the DoD approaches human performance enhancement and fatigue countermeasures.

Most recently, Ms. McIntire has expanded this research into other novel technologies that are similar, but are quicker and easier to apply. She is currently leading a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)-funded study to investigate a device that stimulates the cervical vagus nerve as a fatigue countermeasure. The device is already FDA-approved to treat migraines and cluster headaches, but her team is the first to utilize this device to enhance performance in healthy individuals. Because the laboratory results of both devices have repeatedly shown large improvements in attention, learning, memory, and arousal, operational Air Force units have begun field-testing to determine device utility for training and fatigue mitigation arising from shift-work.

“This prestigious award is a recognition of just how significant Lindsey’s contributions in neuromodulation have been to the field of Aerospace Medicine,” stated Mike Gilkey, Vice President, Infoscitex. “Her innovative thinking, determination, and hard work have proven to be an invaluable asset to the Air Force Research Laboratory throughout her career. We are truly proud to see her visionary work transition to practical applications that benefit the performance of our service members.”

For further reading on Ms. Mcintire’s research, see Scientific American’s article, “Neck-Zapping Gadget Reduced All-Nighter Fatigue in New Study.”

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