While vivid virtual reality (VR) environments may afford better performance for some flight tasks, it is possible that enhanced stimuli could overload some cognitive resources. Prospective memory (PM) is a cognitive factor sensitive to working memory and visual processing demands, and it may be a performance factor either adversely affected or enhanced by VR factors. Forty-seven pilots flew a VR flight simulation scenario, which included an auditory cue-based PM task. Self-ratings of psychological experiences in VR revealed three factors with relationships to PM: fluency, presence, and interactivity. Path analyses examined the relation of each of these factors with PM, and with two types of working memory, based on Level 1 SA. Higher fluency ratings were associated with lower PM, whereas greater presence and interactivity were correlated with better PM. Working memory also significantly mediated the effects of fluency on PM.
Bentham, K. V.,
& Herdman, C.
(2019). Virtual Reality Flight Environments May Tax Working Memory and Disrupt Prospective Memory. 20th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 373-378.