Measuring working memory load effects on electrophysiological markers of attention orienting during a simulated drive

Ross, V., Vossen, A. Y., Smulders, F. T.Y., Ruiter, R. A.C., Brijs, T., Brijs, K., Wets, G. and Jongen, E. M.M. (2018) Measuring working memory load effects on electrophysiological markers of attention orienting during a simulated drive. Ergonomics, 61(3), pp. 429-443. (doi: 10.1080/00140139.2017.1353708) (PMID:28689462)

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Abstract

Intersection accidents result in a significant proportion of road fatalities, and attention allocation likely plays a role. Attention allocation may depend on (limited) working memory (WM) capacity. Driving is often combined with tasks increasing WM load, consequently impairing attention orienting. This study (n = 22) investigated WM load effects on event-related potentials (ERPs) related to attention orienting. A simulated driving environment allowed continuous lane-keeping measurement. Participants were asked to orient attention covertly towards the side indicated by an arrow, and to respond only to moving cars appearing on the attended side by pressing a button. WM load was manipulated using a concurrent memory task. ERPs showed typical attentional modulation (cue: contralateral negativity, LDAP; car: N1, P1, SN and P3) under low and high load conditions. With increased WM load, lane-keeping performance improved, while dual task performance degraded (memory task: increased error rate; orienting task: increased false alarms, smaller P3). Practitioner Summary: Intersection driver-support systems aim to improve traffic safety and flow. However, in-vehicle systems induce WM load, increasing the tendency to yield. Traffic flow reduces if drivers stop at inappropriate times, reducing the effectiveness of systems. Consequently, driver-support systems could include WM load measurement during driving in the development phase.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Physical therapy, sports therapy and rehabilitation, human factors and ergonomics.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Vossen, Alexandra
Authors: Ross, V., Vossen, A. Y., Smulders, F. T.Y., Ruiter, R. A.C., Brijs, T., Brijs, K., Wets, G., and Jongen, E. M.M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Ergonomics
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0014-0139
ISSN (Online):1366-5847
Published Online:10 July 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor and Francis Group
First Published:First published in Ergonomics 61(3): 429-443
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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