Dr. Charles Morgan Speaks at the Marvin K. Peterson Library

Riley Knebes

On Wednesday, Feb. 2, Dr. Charles Morgan, Associate Professor of National Security Studies, spoke about the neurobiological differences in Military Special Operations personnel. His presentation “What Makes Special Operations Forces Special? Clues from Psychological Studies of Elite Military Personnel,” was held in the Marvin K. Peterson Library at 2 p.m.

Morgan spent 25 years as a professor at Yale University and is an international expert in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He has dedicated most of his research toward studying military personnel.

Morgan is a faculty member at the University of New Haven and serves on the National Academy of Science Committee on Eyewitness Identification Reform. In addition, he serves as a private consultant for the Asymmetric Warfare Group and the U.S. Navy.

During his presentation, Morgan answered various questions regarding PTSD including why certain people get sick during or after war and other traumatic events, while others do not. Morgan also explained his research process for finding out how to determine scientifically who is or will be affected by PTSD.

Morgan researched various groups of military personnel including those at a Survival School and a Combat Diver Qualification Course to study fear and alarm using neuroscience.

Morgan then broke down his areas of studies into three different categories: neurobiological/hormonal, cognitive processing, and personality attributes.

By testing saliva and blood samples, Morgan measured the levels of cortisol, the major stress hormone, and others to examine the resting stress rate and increased stress rate of different military personnel.

Graduate student Diane Lindsey said “He’s a brilliant professor and he is very knowledgeable about the field of forensic psychiatry. I am very grateful for all the opportunities he has given me to gain knowledge in my field of national security.” Lindsey has a concentration in information protection.