Spatial skills are critical for flight safety. The current study investigatedwhetherincreased flight experience as a pilotwas associated with improved spatial skills, and in particular, theability to form a mental representation of a novel virtual environment.Pilotscompleted small-scalespatial ability tasks, travelled alongfour routes in a virtual environment, and then completed two tests that assessed memory for the locations of landmarks in the environment. Pilots with more flight experience did not have more accurate mental representations of the environment than individuals with less flight experience. Increasedflyingexperience was, however, linked to better performance on a perspective-taking test. Perspective taking has been proposed as central to navigation awareness during flight, and the current data suggest it improves with experience.
& Sutton, J. E.
(2017). Flight Experience and Mental Representations of Space. 19th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 256-261.