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

Andrew K. Mackenzie, Julie M. Harris
2017 Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance  
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 limit the ability to efficiently allocate gaze. We present an experiment that explores the relationship between attentional function and visual performance when driving. Drivers performed 2 variations of a multiple-object tracking task targeting aspects of cognition including sustained attention,
more » ... king, 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 behavior.
doi:10.1037/xhp0000297 pmid:27893270 pmcid:PMC5279462 fatcat:q655dmg6xvcc7e2swbi5lemja4