One of the joys of this season is listening to Christmas carols, but some of our brave soldiers are returning from war with a special problem: deafness. Researchers haven't solved the deafness problem yet, but they are working to get soldiers used to the sounds of battle. Inside a non-descript, soundproof building on the south side of town, Missouri researchers are building an audio battlefield, complete with the sounds of tanks, ordinance, gunfire, shouting and helicopters, in an effort to better prepare soldiers for combat.
Researcher Steven Grant says, "When soldiers train in a classroom and learn how to perform different tasks, that's very different than when they get on the battlefield and suddenly there's a cacophony of warfare going off all around them. By training soldiers in an immersive auditory experience, they will be better able to complete their tasks quickly and efficiently when they get into a combat situation. Our idea is for soldiers to get accustomed to an environment that they haven't been exposed to yet."
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