To examine the importance of platform motion to the transfer of performance in motion simulators.
The importance of platform motion in simulators for pilot training is strongly debated. We hypothesized that the type of motion (e.g., disturbance) contributes significantly to performance differences.
Participants used a joystick to perform a target tracking task in a pod on top of a MOOG Stewart motion platform. Five conditions compared training without motion, with correlated motion, with disturbance motion, with disturbance motion isolated to the visual display, and with both correlated and disturbance motion. The test condition involved the full motion model with both correlated and disturbance motion. We analyzed speed and accuracy across training and test as well as strategic differences in joystick control.
Training with disturbance cues produced critical behavioral differences compared to training without disturbance; motion itself was less important.
Incorporation of disturbance cues is a potentially important source of variance between studies that do or do not show a benefit of motion platforms in the transfer of performance in simulators.
Potential applications of this research include the assessment of the importance of motion platforms in flight simulators, with a focus on the efficacy of incorporating disturbance cues during training.