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Publication Detail
Visual-Spatial Abilities of Pilots
U.S. Air Force pilots and control subjects participated in five experiments, each of which assessed a different type of visual-spatial ability. Although pilots judged metric spatial relations better than did nonpilots, they did not judge categorical spatial relations better than did nonpilots. Pilots mentally rotated objects better than did nonpilots, but pilots did not extrapolate motion, scan images, or extract visual features from objects obscured by visual noise better than did nonpilots. The results imply that efficient use of specific processing subsystems is especially important for, and characteristic of, pilots. The possible neuropsychological bases for the enhanced abilities and their susceptibility to change are discussed.
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