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Effects of Age and Task Load on Drivers' Response Accuracy and Reaction Time When Responding to Traffic Lights.

Salvia E, Petit C, Champely S, Chomette R, Di Rienzo F, Collet C - Front Aging Neurosci (2016)

Bottom Line: Yet, how aging alters sensorimotor functions and impacts driving safety remains poorly understood.In the third test, the rate of no-response suggested that elderly drivers needed more than 2 s to process complex information and respond accurately.Both prolonged RT and increased no-response rate, especially for difficult tasks, might attest an impairment of cognitive abilities in relation to aging.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives, UMR 7291, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Aix-Marseille Université Marseille, France.

ABSTRACT
Due to population aging, elderly drivers represent an increasing proportion of car drivers. Yet, how aging alters sensorimotor functions and impacts driving safety remains poorly understood. This paper aimed at assessing to which extent elderly drivers are sensitive to various task loads and how this affects the reaction time (RT) in a driving context. Old and middle-aged people completed RT tasks which reproduced cognitive demands encountered while driving. Participants had to detect and respond to traffic lights or traffic light arrows as quickly as possible, under three experimental conditions of incremental difficulty. In both groups, we hypothesized that decision-making would be impacted by the number of cues to be processed. The first test was a simple measure of RT. The second and third tests were choice RT tasks requiring the processing of 3 and 5 cues, respectively. Responses were collected within a 2 s time-window. Otherwise, the trial was considered a no-response. In both groups, the data revealed that RT, error rate (incorrect answers), and no-response rate increased along with task difficulty. However, the middle-aged group outperformed the elderly group. The RT difference between the two groups increased drastically along with task difficulty. In the third test, the rate of no-response suggested that elderly drivers needed more than 2 s to process complex information and respond accurately. Both prolonged RT and increased no-response rate, especially for difficult tasks, might attest an impairment of cognitive abilities in relation to aging. Accordingly, casual driving conditions for young drivers may be particularly complex and stressful for elderly people who should thus be informed about the effects of normal aging upon driving.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Percentage of no-responses as a function of test difficulty and age. Data clearly show that the percentage of no-response increased drastically in the elderly group over the three tests. This means that the elderly group needed much time to process the whole amount of information provided by complex conditions (T2 and T3) where 3-choice RT and 5-choice RT involving the selection of upper or lower limbs to respond adequately. Error bars indicate the standard deviation.
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Figure 4: Percentage of no-responses as a function of test difficulty and age. Data clearly show that the percentage of no-response increased drastically in the elderly group over the three tests. This means that the elderly group needed much time to process the whole amount of information provided by complex conditions (T2 and T3) where 3-choice RT and 5-choice RT involving the selection of upper or lower limbs to respond adequately. Error bars indicate the standard deviation.

Mentions: Elderly participants also exhibited higher no-responses rate. The percentages of no-responses were 7.2% (17.3) during T2 and 27.7% (21.4) during T3 in the elderly group, while these were only 0.4% (2.2) and 0.3% (1.7) in the control group (χ21 = 80, p < 0.0001). The first-order interaction Conditions∗Groups reached significance (χ22 = 87.3, p < 0.0005). Results for the “No-response” condition are displayed in Figure 4.


Effects of Age and Task Load on Drivers' Response Accuracy and Reaction Time When Responding to Traffic Lights.

Salvia E, Petit C, Champely S, Chomette R, Di Rienzo F, Collet C - Front Aging Neurosci (2016)

Percentage of no-responses as a function of test difficulty and age. Data clearly show that the percentage of no-response increased drastically in the elderly group over the three tests. This means that the elderly group needed much time to process the whole amount of information provided by complex conditions (T2 and T3) where 3-choice RT and 5-choice RT involving the selection of upper or lower limbs to respond adequately. Error bars indicate the standard deviation.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4940374&req=5

Figure 4: Percentage of no-responses as a function of test difficulty and age. Data clearly show that the percentage of no-response increased drastically in the elderly group over the three tests. This means that the elderly group needed much time to process the whole amount of information provided by complex conditions (T2 and T3) where 3-choice RT and 5-choice RT involving the selection of upper or lower limbs to respond adequately. Error bars indicate the standard deviation.
Mentions: Elderly participants also exhibited higher no-responses rate. The percentages of no-responses were 7.2% (17.3) during T2 and 27.7% (21.4) during T3 in the elderly group, while these were only 0.4% (2.2) and 0.3% (1.7) in the control group (χ21 = 80, p < 0.0001). The first-order interaction Conditions∗Groups reached significance (χ22 = 87.3, p < 0.0005). Results for the “No-response” condition are displayed in Figure 4.

Bottom Line: Yet, how aging alters sensorimotor functions and impacts driving safety remains poorly understood.In the third test, the rate of no-response suggested that elderly drivers needed more than 2 s to process complex information and respond accurately.Both prolonged RT and increased no-response rate, especially for difficult tasks, might attest an impairment of cognitive abilities in relation to aging.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives, UMR 7291, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Aix-Marseille Université Marseille, France.

ABSTRACT
Due to population aging, elderly drivers represent an increasing proportion of car drivers. Yet, how aging alters sensorimotor functions and impacts driving safety remains poorly understood. This paper aimed at assessing to which extent elderly drivers are sensitive to various task loads and how this affects the reaction time (RT) in a driving context. Old and middle-aged people completed RT tasks which reproduced cognitive demands encountered while driving. Participants had to detect and respond to traffic lights or traffic light arrows as quickly as possible, under three experimental conditions of incremental difficulty. In both groups, we hypothesized that decision-making would be impacted by the number of cues to be processed. The first test was a simple measure of RT. The second and third tests were choice RT tasks requiring the processing of 3 and 5 cues, respectively. Responses were collected within a 2 s time-window. Otherwise, the trial was considered a no-response. In both groups, the data revealed that RT, error rate (incorrect answers), and no-response rate increased along with task difficulty. However, the middle-aged group outperformed the elderly group. The RT difference between the two groups increased drastically along with task difficulty. In the third test, the rate of no-response suggested that elderly drivers needed more than 2 s to process complex information and respond accurately. Both prolonged RT and increased no-response rate, especially for difficult tasks, might attest an impairment of cognitive abilities in relation to aging. Accordingly, casual driving conditions for young drivers may be particularly complex and stressful for elderly people who should thus be informed about the effects of normal aging upon driving.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus