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Public Health and Sport Sciences

Evaluating virtual reality training of cognitive skills for counter terror policing

This project, which is led by Dr David Harris and funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, examines the effects of VR on cognition, and its potential for training cognitive skills for high-pressure environments.

Policing and military scenarios are often hard to train for, but VR affords the potential to train dangerous skills in new ways.

Close up on the blue light on top of a police car

In particular, we are interested in the use of integrated VR and eye tracking to develop and validate VR training applications for use with the Metropolitan Police and the UK Intelligence Community. We are also investigating the potential for augmenting VR training with principles drawn from the cognitive training literature.

Prototype tasks

The videos below illustrate prototype threat-detection room searching tasks. In these scenarios the officer is also to practice searching the rooms for evidence of terror-related activities, and develop the cognitive skills to do this effectively. This tool develops on mainly classroom-based methods and allows officers to learn about signs of extremist activity as well as practising room searching skills.

Latest publications


For more information on this project, please contact Dr David Harris