Performance and Brain Activity During a Spatial Working Memory Task: Application to Pilot Candidate Selection
For 18 ab initio airline pilots, we assessed the possibility of predicting flight simulator performance with the performance and the prefrontal activity measured during a spatial working memory (SWM) task. Behavioral results revealed that a better control of the aircraft altitude in the flight simulator was correlated with better strategy during the SWM task. In addition, neuroimaging results suggested that participants that recruited more neural resources during the SWM task were more likely to accurately control their aircraft. Taken together, our results emphasized that spatial working memory and the underlying neural circuitries are important for piloting. Ultimately, SWM tasks may be included in pilot selection tests as it seems to be a good predictor of flight performance.
KeywordsFlight performance Cognitive performance Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) Pilots selection and training
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