Training and Technology to Increase Spatial Cognitive Skill – Maximizing the Benefit
Spatial Cognitive Skills are critical to Industry Geoscience Interpreters to detect likely petroleum traps and targets from spatial geoscience data, detect hazards, build static geologic models and to visualize geologic structural history of basins or prospects. Those naturally gifted with greater spatial cognitive skills do tend to "self select" into positions where these skills are valuable and this self selection is often an impediment to achieving industries goals. Industry recognizes there is considerable variability across the interpreter population in spatial cognitive skill, that this spectrum needs to be addressed, but also that the results of an interpreters work needs to be communicated across disciplines.
Industry is faced with a number of interrelated problems and goals in training and technology around spatial cognition. In Training: (1) How to assess the skill level of the interpreter, (2) How to construct training for the interpreter to improve their spatial skills, (3) How to make the interpreter know the limits of those spatial skills (and thereby ask for assistance to fill the gap)? In Technology: (1) What are the best technologies to be deployed to exploit and enhance the interpreters cognitive skills, (2) What are the limits to these technologies, (3) Are all possible technologies being deployed?
The application of Spatial Cognitive research in Industry is still relatively new but such approaches are relatively well accepted (think of Behavioral Based Safety Training approaches). However, the problem of self selection enters the equation once again: those with the best skills are more often than not the trainers and designers of the technology. The result, and danger, is that best get better, but the not so good barely improve. This paper will use research in IQ Testing and training, Memory Improvement, and anecdotal research to demonstrate that the greatest benefit to industry lies in closely coupling the goals of training and technology in Spatial Cognition to maximize the benefits of both training and technology.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #120140© 2014 AAPG Hedberg Conference 3D Structural Geologic Interpretation: Earth, Mind and Machine, June 23-27, 2013, Reno, Nevada