This investigation compares young and older pilots with age-matched controls from the general population on cognitive and sensory abilities. Cognitive assessments included short-term and long-term memory, learning, delayed recognition and mental rotation. Sensory measures included visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, auditory thresholds, speech intelligibility and tactile sensitivity. Significant differences in contrast sensitivity was obtained as a function of age and pilot status. Also, young pilots (24-42 years) have greater tactile sensitivity than older pilots (64-88 years), and both non-pilot groups. In general, younger participants performed better on the assessments than the older subjects regardless of pilot status. Although, the mean differences between the young and older groups showed significance there was considerable overlap in the cognitive and sensory measures for the different age groups indicating that chronological age is not reliable predictor of performance.
& Chaparro, A.
(2007). Changes in Cognitive and Sensory Abilities of Older Pilots Parallel Those Observed in the General Population. 2007 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 447-451.