Novice pilots improve visual responses to emergency simulation by watching experts' eye movements

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Novice military pilots can improve their visual responses to a simulated emergency procedure by observing the eye movements of expert pilots, according to new research. Previous research has shown that eye movements in response to visual stimuli can serve as a biomarker for brain states such as fatigue or high mental concentration. To explore how eye movements might relate to expertise in a challenging task, researchers evaluated eye tracking as an objective means of classifying novice versus expert military helicopter pilots. The study found that eye movement differences are so pronounced and predictable between novices and experts that computers can use an eye-tracking algorithm to accurately classify them more than 80 percent of the time. The researchers also explored whether the differences in eye movements between expert and novice pilots could be developed into a training regimen. The results suggest that modeling expert eye movements may benefit pilot training.

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