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A link between attentional function, effective eye movements and driving ability

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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Author(s)

Andrew Kerr MacKenzie, Julie Harris

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Abstract

The misallocation of driver visual attention has been suggested as a major contributing factor to vehicle accidents. One possible reason is that the relatively high cognitive demands of driving limits the ability to efficiently allocate gaze. We present an experiment that explores the relationship between attentional function and visual performance when driving. Drivers performed two variations of a multiple object tracking task targeting aspects of cognition including sustained attention, dual-tasking, covert attention and visuomotor skill. They also drove a number of courses in a driving simulator. Eye movements were recorded throughout. We found that individuals who performed better in the cognitive tasks exhibited more effective eye movement strategies when driving, such as scanning more of the road, and they also exhibited better driving performance. We discuss the potential link between an individual's attentional function, effective eye movements and driving ability. We also discuss the use of a visuomotor task in assessing driving behaviour.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-394
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Volume43
Issue number2
Early online date28 Nov 2016
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2017

    Research areas

  • Eye movements, Driving, Visual attention, Visual cognition

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