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

Veerle Ross, Alexandra Y Vossen, Fren T Y Smulders, Robert A C Ruiter, Tom Brijs, Kris Brijs, Geert Wets, Ellen M M Jongen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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 working memory (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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-443
Number of pages15
JournalErgonomics
Volume61
Issue number3
Early online date10 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Journal Article
  • VISUOSPATIAL ATTENTION
  • Attention orienting
  • ERP COMPONENTS
  • CROSSING ASSIST SYSTEM
  • DISTRACTION
  • SELECTIVE ATTENTION
  • working memory load
  • COGNITIVE LOAD
  • driving simulation
  • YOUNG NOVICE DRIVERS
  • IMPACT
  • OLDER DRIVERS
  • EVENT-RELATED POTENTIALS
  • event-related potentials
  • Humans
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Male
  • Reaction Time
  • Young Adult
  • Computer Simulation
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Workload
  • Adolescent
  • Attention/physiology
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Automobile Driving

Cite this

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title = "Measuring working memory load effects on electrophysiological markers of attention orienting during a simulated drive",
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 working memory (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.",
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author = "Veerle Ross and Vossen, {Alexandra Y} and Smulders, {Fren T Y} and Ruiter, {Robert A C} and Tom Brijs and Kris Brijs and Geert Wets and Jongen, {Ellen M M}",
year = "2018",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1080/00140139.2017.1353708",
language = "English",
volume = "61",
pages = "429--443",
journal = "Ergonomics",
issn = "0014-0139",
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Measuring working memory load effects on electrophysiological markers of attention orienting during a simulated drive. / Ross, Veerle; Vossen, Alexandra Y; Smulders, Fren T Y; Ruiter, Robert A C; Brijs, Tom; Brijs, Kris; Wets, Geert; Jongen, Ellen M M.

In: Ergonomics, Vol. 61, No. 3, 03.2018, p. 429-443.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Measuring working memory load effects on electrophysiological markers of attention orienting during a simulated drive

AU - Ross, Veerle

AU - Vossen, Alexandra Y

AU - Smulders, Fren T Y

AU - Ruiter, Robert A C

AU - Brijs, Tom

AU - Brijs, Kris

AU - Wets, Geert

AU - Jongen, Ellen M M

PY - 2018/3

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N2 - 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 working memory (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.

AB - 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 working memory (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.

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