Developing a tDCS-Enhanced Dual-Task Flight Simulator for Evaluating Learning

  • Jesse MarkEmail author
  • Hasan Ayaz
  • Daniel Callan
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1201)


手机体育投注平台The field of enhancing skill acquisition, particularly in professions necessitating the mastery of a complex combination of physical and mental abilities, is rapidly progressing and amenable to novel training protocols involving both neuroimaging and neurostimulation. Aircraft piloting in particular is an ideal medium for testing new training protocols, because objective performance measures are well-understood and modern flight simulator programs are realistic and high-fidelity. Here, we describe the development of a flight simulator protocol that allows for the analysis of neurostimulation-enhanced skill acquisition both within and between subjects. A three-block design was created to collect data pre-training, during feedback training, and post-training while being recorded in an fMRI. The dual task consists of 30–45 s trials landing a plane on one of two runways, indicated by an arrow displayed on the simulator screen, while simultaneously responding to auditory stimuli played constantly during each trial with button presses. The landing task is presented at two difficulty levels in pseudorandom balanced order, modulated by wind speed and direction. Two auditory conditions, response and control (no response), are used for a two by two design. For the feedback training, subjects are provided with relevant measures of how well they are able to land on the specified runway as well as their accuracy in the auditory task. Subjects will be randomly assigned to tDCS stimulation or sham groups, with stim receiving 30 min of 1.5 mA high definition-tDCS to the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex during the training block. Altogether, this novel combination of stimulation, neuroimaging, and dual-task training will allow for an in-depth, multi-factor analysis of cognitive workload, behavioral performance, neurostimulation effects, and learning of a complex mental and physical task.


Learning fMRI Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) Flight simulator Dual-Task 


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health SystemsDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Center for Information and Neural Networks (CiNet)National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Osaka UniversityOsakaJapan
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyCollege of Arts and Sciences, Drexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Family and Community HealthUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Center for Injury Research and PreventionChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA

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