Simulation based training is often costly, and effectiveness varies from one individual to another. Consequently, there is a need to focus training programs onto individuals who are more likely to respond well. This brings a need for qualitative and objective assessments that can determine not just if an individual is ready to train, but also how well they can adapt to training. Using a unique 3D multiple object tracking assessment known as NeuroTracker, measures of high-level cognitive functions can be achieved which have been established in the scientific literature to correlate strongly with human performance capabilities.
A cognitive baseline is established with 3 sessions (approximately 18 minutes), shown for example to be predictive of NBA players’ on-court performance statistics. This baseline provides an initial indicator of cognitive performance levels specifically relevant to learning related functions such as executive function, working memory, several forms of attention, and mental processing speed. Then, as a second level of assessment, cognitive adaptability can be assessed through completing 10-15 NeuroTracker sessions. This reveals each individual’s learning rate in response to a new and high-level cognitive task that is void of practice related effects. A strong learning curve on NeuroTracker is associated with high neuroplasticity, and a general ability for the brain to rewire its neural functions to respond to new learning challenges.
These two NeuroTracker measures are an example of how a practical, accessible and cost-effective cognitive assessment can increase the efficiency of resources invested into simulation based training programs.
Scott Kozak, MBA, is Managing Director of the CogniSens Applied Research Centre (ARC), a non-profit research center dedicated to developing and validating new applications to address unmet needs in human cognition, learning and performance. ARC researchers collaborate with experts and key opinion leaders from renowned academic, government and industry organizations to validate evidenced-based applications of NeuroTracker technologies.
Scott is also Deputy Chair of the NDIA’s Human Systems Division and an Adjunct Professor at Brown University in the Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership degree program. He has held senior management positions in multinational corporations, start-ups and public-sector organizations.