Shortcut for Astronauts

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,669
    A team at MIT develop cognitive spatial testing for astronauts beginning their training to identify and place top performers into an accelerated training program.

    Astronauts, as one would imagine, go through extensive training to get ready for their venture into space.  A lot of this training is in the use of robotics; specifically they must learn to operate the robotic arm located on the ISS.  MIT researchers have developed cognitive spatial tests that they say allow the stars to shine, predicting which astronaut candidates will perform better in the more extensive course.  Astronaut spatial skills are broken down into two categories: object rotation (ability to imagine what the object looks like rotated) and perspective taking (imagining how it looks from different viewpoints).   They say these initial spatial tests could be used to place high-scorers on a shortened, accelerated training track, while low-scorers do a more in-depth course.