The effects of visual attention training on driving performance

Academic Article


  • Purpose. Recently, a visual attentional measure, the Useful Field of View (UFOV ). has been shown to predict retrospective and prospective vehicle crash frequency in older adults. Prior research has also shown that the UFOV may be expanded with practice. The current study evaluated the effects of expanding the size of the UFOV on the driving performance of older adults. Methods. Elderly, community dwelling, adults who suffered a shrinkage in their UFOV' were identified through a screening protocol and recruited to participate in a training program to expand the size of their visual attentional field. One group of participants (N=49) received UFOVX training, a second group received training in a driving simulator (N-~22) and a third group served as a control (N=25). Prior to and after training each participant was e\aluated on simple and choice RT in a driving simulator and completed a 14 mile open road driving evaluation. Results.UFOV training expanded the size of the visual attentional field. This expansion transferred to improved choice RT and fewei dangerous maneuvers (e.g., gap selection when turning across traffic) during the open road driving evaluation. Similar effects were not observed in the Simulator or Control groups. Conclusions. Visual attention training successfully transferred to compatible behaviors, and not to incompatible behaviors (e.g., simple RT) suggesting that remediation of visual attention deficits may enhance functional mobility in the elderK.
  • Authors

    Author List

  • Roenker DL; Cissell GM; Ball KK
  • Volume

  • 38
  • Issue

  • 4