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Eye fixation scanpaths of younger and older drivers in a hazard perception task

Underwood, G, Phelps, N, Wright, C, van Loon, E and Galpin, AJ 2005, 'Eye fixation scanpaths of younger and older drivers in a hazard perception task' , Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 25 (4) , pp. 346-356.

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Abstract

Our previous research has shown that observing patterns of eye fixations is a successful method of establishing differences in underlying cognitive processes between groups of drivers. Eye movements recorded from drivers in a laboratory while they watch film clips recorded from a driver's perspective can be used to identify scanpaths and search patterns that reveal ability differences. In the present study 12 older subjects (60-75 years) and 12 younger subjects (30-45 years) watched clips for potential hazards such as other road users appearing on an intersecting trajectory. Acuity and visual field differences between the two groups were eliminated through screening, so that only age-related differences would emerge. Eye fixations were analysed on a frame-by-frame basis to generate sequences of codes representing the location and object of the viewer's interest, before and during the appearance of a hazard. These codes were analysed for the existence of two fixation scanpaths using Markov Matrices. Unique scanpaths were identified for each group of drivers before and during the hazard. Evidence from the inspection of different objects and from the spread of the search indicated that both groups of driver were sensitive to attentional capture by the appearance of the hazard. Detection of the hazards - both speed and accuracy - was similar for older and younger drivers, although the older drivers perceived the films as being more hazardous in general. There is little evidence in this study of an age-related decline in the search of the scene when detecting hazards.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Health Sciences > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology
Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 02755408
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2007 15:49
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:46
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/259

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