Ideas @ Work: #17 Two-Stage Trigger

Office of CommunicationsIdeas@Work, News

33 ideas big and small from Norwich students, faculty, staff, and alumni that are transforming campus and the world.

The Norwich Record

Spring 2016

Applying new science to an old idea, Norwich psychology faculty and students have spent the past year developing an early prototype of a two-stage firearm trigger. Faculty members Matt Thomas, Kevin Fleming, and Carole Bandy, and students John Dulmage, Heather Powell, and Muhammad Ali Shahidy believe the project may help prevent wrongful shootings. Their work is based on findings at Norwich that reveal how the human brain processes shooting scenarios. While it takes our brains just 100 milliseconds to deliver instructions to squeeze a trigger, it takes our brains 320 milliseconds to visually process a target. Did the suspect pull a gun or a cell phone? The two-stage trigger project aims to give our brains a brief moment of pause to ask, Are you sure?

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