Submarine Medical Research Laboratory - Groten, CT

Laboratory Coordinator:
David Fothergill
Submarine Base-New London
Groton, CT 06349-5900

The Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory (NSMRL) is the Navy's submarine platform and designated medical research and development laboratory to conduct research on medical problems identified by the submarine force and the Navy diving community. 

Auditory Science: 

Research is in the areas of auditory sensation, perception, and information processing as relates to the detection and recognition of complex sounds; assessment of auditory ability; training; the effects of noise on hearing; research audiology; oto-acoustic emissions; speech intelligibility; headphone measurement; and virtual auditory displays. Areas of operational importance include but are not limited to: sonar and sonar systems; auditory and auditory/visual displays; performance limits for human receivers of auditory or acoustic information; underwater hearing; and hearing conservation. 


Visual and perceptual problems of submariners and divers are studied, including both visual sensation and perception and cognitive performance. Current research focuses on problems of information overload and legibility of sonar, periscope, and other displays, and how best to present information on these displays. Studies are examining the use of color coding and different types of symbols. Other work involves the evaluation of navigational beacons and the study of performance in unusual environments, such as those containing atmospheric pollutants or in the presence of excessive noise. A final area of investigation addresses neuroelectric measures of attention, perception, and decision making. The techniques of dipole source localization and cortical imaging are employed. 

Biomedical Science: 

Conducts research in decompression and pulmonary toxicity problems associated with hyperbaric saturation exposures and fitness/wellness variations associated with prolonged confinement aboard submarines. Epidemiological approaches are included in this research. Other current projects include the study of medical conditions affecting submarine qualifications and medical screening for submarine service.