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Hypnotizability as a possible parameter to identify the attentional abilities of a pilot

Scattina, Eliana and Santarcangelo, Enrica Laura Hypnotizability as a possible parameter to identify the attentional abilities of a pilot. (2020) In: 1st International Conference on Cognitive Aircraft Systems - ICCAS 2020, 18 March 2020 - 19 March 2020 (Toulouse, France). (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The pilot might well be considered as the ultimate component of an aircraft, hence the importance of tailoring his training in order to optimise his performance. Hypnotizability is a psychophysiological trait quite popular owing to its role in the cognitive control of pain. It is measured by scales, which allow to classify the general population as highly (highs), medium (mediums) and low (lows) hypnotizable individuals, and is associated with differences in cortical activity/connectivity, sensorimotor integration and cardiovascular control, also in the absence of suggestions and in the ordinary state of consciousness. We suggest that few hypnotisability- related psychophysiological characteristics may be relevant to pilot selection. In fact, highs exhibit peculiar imagery abilities and proneness to experience bodily signals in an adaptive perspective. The former characteristic mainly consists of stronger Functional Equivalence (FE) between imagery and perception/action, as suggested by behavioural studies and supported by topological analysis of EEG during mental imagery. Stronger FE indicates greater ability to simulate actual sensorimotor information, which occurs likely through greater cortical excitability and allows to produce ideomotor behaviour responding to sensori-motor suggestions. The latter consists of greater ability to utilize bodily signals in the construction of the individual self, which occurs at high levels of the central nervous system owing to continuous monitoring of bodily information. Nonetheless, the highs’ greater sensibility to interoceptive signals is associated with lower accuracy in their detection, so that different modes of homeostatic responses to interoceptive stimulation could be suggested in participants with different hypnotisability levels. Highs could be more suitable to serve as pilots owing to their ability to substitute lacking actual information with imagined information and to adaptively interpret interoceptive changes associated with flights. Unfortunately, they represent only 15% of the population, which consists also of 70% of mediums and 15% of lows. Thus, our proposal is to submit low to medium hypnotizable pilots to mental training focused on sensorimotor images and on the re-appraisal of bodily information

Item Type:Invited Conference
Audience (conference):International conference without published proceedings
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Institution:Other partners > Università di Pisa (ITALY)
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Deposited On:09 May 2021 17:10

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