• Ian T. Mena-Wieland

Reaction Time

First, let's start by doing a reaction time test put out by Washington University. Click



How did it go? Surprised?

When we are assessing out readiness, it is important to understand that there is a reactionary gap between a stimulus and our response, even if we have our response preplanned.

Colonel John Boyd popularised the idea of the

OODA loop

, an analysis of how we react and respond to the actions of others. When we have preplanned responses (if A them B), we can cut some time out of the OODA loop, but we also meed to look into how fast our brains even get signal to out moving parts.

The type of stimulus is also important. As it turns out, audio stimulus is perceived in about 2/3 of the time that visual stimulus. So, in effect, if something is perceived visually, we have another barrier to speed. This is important when it comes to how we deal with deadly threats. Often, the threat will present visually and without warning. This creates a time gap in which we need to observe outer threat, orient (face physically or understand the dangers) to the threat, decide the best course of action (run, fight) and finally act on our decision. Even of you eliminate Decide, by having preprogrammed responses, like Boyd recommended, you still have a fairly lengthy response time. It is good to know and accept these things as we go forward with our training. It will help us make better decisions in real life scenarios.