What research over the last 15-20 years has shown is that cognition, or what we call thinking and performance, is really a set of skills that we can train systematically. And that computer-based cognitive trainers or â€œcognitive simulationsâ€ are the most effective and efficient way to do so.
This is an important point, so let me emphasize it. What we have discovered is that a key factor for an effective transfer from training environment to reality is that the training program ensures â€œCognitive Fidelityâ€, this is, it should faithfully represent the mental demands that happen in the real world. Traditional approaches focus instead on physical fidelity, which may seem more intuitive, but less effective and harder to achieve. They are also less efficient, given costs involved in creating expensive physical simulators that faithfully replicate, letâ€™s say, a whole military helicopter or just a significant part of it.
Fidelity then goes to the issue of driving or controlling a horse with your thumb. You know, the console controller.