Driving with Hemianopia V: Do Individuals with Hemianopia Spontaneously Adapt Their Gaze Scanning to Differing Hazard Detection Demands?
Translational Vision Science & Technology
Purpose: We investigated whether people with homonymous hemianopia (HH) were able to spontaneously (without training or instructions) adapt their blind-side scan magnitudes in response to differing scanning requirements for detection of pedestrians in a driving simulator when differing cues about pedestrian eccentricities and movement behaviors were available in the seeing hemifield. Methods: Twelve HH participants completed two sessions in a driving simulator pressing the horn when they
... d a pedestrian. Stationary pedestrians outside the driving lane were presented in one session and approaching pedestrians on a collision course in the other. Gaze data were analyzed for pedestrians initially appearing at approximately 148 in the blind hemifield. No instructions were given regarding scanning. Results: After appearing, the stationary pedestrians' eccentricity increased rapidly to a median of 318 after 2.5 seconds, requiring increasingly larger blind-side gaze scans for detection, while the approaching pedestrians' eccentricity remained constant at approximately 148, requiring a more moderate scan (~148) for detection. Although median scan magnitudes did not differ between the two conditions (approaching: 148 ; stationary: 138 [IQR 98-208]; P ¼ 0.43), three participants showed evidence of adapting (increasing) their blind-side scan magnitudes in the stationary condition. Conclusions: Three participants (25%) appeared to be able to apply voluntary cognitive control to modify their blind-side gaze scanning in response to the differing scanning requirements of the two conditions without explicit training. Translational Relevance: Our results suggest that only a minority of people with hemianopia are likely to be able to spontaneously adapt their blind-side scanning in response to rapidly changing and unpredictable situations in on-road driving.