ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research

Cognitive performance and driving behaviour in older adults

Project Members: Rahel Bieri, Michael Jäger, Nicole Gruber, Urs P Mosimann, René Müri, Tobias Nef
Project Duration: 2010 -2014
Funding: Verkehrs Fond

High-fidelity fixed-frame driving simulator: image shows the steering wheel, cockpit, and parts of two projection screens with the presentation of the virtual driving screen.
The objective of this study is to better understand how cognitive performance and aging influence individual driving behavior and traffic-related risks. We have developed a dynamic, computer-based test battery to measure driving-relevant cognitive and motivational competences such as processing speed, decision making, anticipation of speed, and motion perception. The test and the human-machine interface are specifically developed for elderly people and the system is intended to serve as a screening tool to assess driving-relevant cognitive performance.

In a study of 100 participants, we could show good correlation between the new computer-based tests, accident history and simulated driving performance. For that purpose, a commercially available driving simulator has been modified to study simulated driving behavior of elderly drivers while measuring neurophysiological parameters (e.g. eye movements, skin conductance). Based on these findings, we intend to derive cognitive training schemes that help older people to maintain driving relevant cognitive skills as long as possible. This project is funded in part by the “Fonds für Verkehrssicherheit”.

Keywords: Driving, simulator, visual exploration, field of view, cognition, old age

Publications: 

Biere, R; Jäger, M; Nef, T; Müri, R; Mosimann, UP (2011). Development of computer.based cognitive tests for older drivers. In: 7th clinical neuroscience meeting, Bern 22.11.2011.

Gruber, Nicole; Mosimann, Urs Peter; Müri, René Martin; Nef, Tobias (2013). Vision and night driving abilities of elderly drivers. Traffic Injury Prevention, 14(5), pp. 477-485. Taylor & Francis10.1080/15389588.2012.727510

Nef, Tobias; Müri, René M.; Bieri, Rahel; Jäger, Michael; Bethencourt, Nora; Tarnanas, Ioannis; Mosimann, Urs P. (2013). Can a novel web-based computer test predict poor simulated driving performance? A pilot study with healthy and cognitive-impaired participants. Journal of medical internet research, 15(10), e232. Centre of Global eHealth Innovation 10.2196/jmir.2943

Bieri, Rahel; Jäger, Michael; Bethencourt, Nora; Mosimann, Urs Peter; Müri, René Martin; Nef, Tobias (2014). Effect of Cognitive Impairment on Driving-Relevant Cognition in Older Persons.Journal of Traffic and Transportation Engineering, 2(1), pp. 11-18. David Publishing

Bieri, Rahel; Jäger, Michael; Gruber, Nicole; Nef, Tobias; Müri, René Martin; Mosimann, Urs Peter(2014). A novel computer test to assess driving-relevant cognitive functions - a pilot study.International psychogeriatrics, 26(2), pp. 229-238. Cambridge University Press10.1017/S104161021300183X

Jäger, Michael; Gruber, Nicole; Müri, René; Mosimann, Urs Peter; Nef, Tobias (2014).Manipulations to reduce simulator-related transient adverse health effects during simulated driving. Medical & biological engineering & computing, 52(7), pp. 601-610. Springer10.1007/s11517-014-1162-x

Jäger, Michael; Nyffeler, Thomas; Müri, René Martin; Mosimann, Urs Peter; Nef, Tobias (2015).Adapting a driving simulator to study pedestrians' street-crossing decisions: A feasibility study.Assistive Technology, 27(1), pp. 1-8. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/10400435.2014.929193