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Predicting Steering Control Performance from Coherent Motion Performance

33.3029, Sunday, 17-May, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm, Banyan Breezeway
Session: Perception and Action: Driving and navigating

Bobby Nguyen1, Rui Ni1, John Plummer1; 1Psychology Department, Wichita State University

Integrating visual information spatially and temporally is important in motion perception and in many daily activities, such as steering in a driving task. Our recent research showed that reduced optic flow quality and quantity impaired steering performance under reduced visibility conditions. However, it is not clear how spatial and temporal integration of visual information is related to steering control under low visibility conditions. In the current study we examined whether spatial and temporal integration performance on coherent motion tasks under low visibility could predict performance on a steering control task under low visibility for younger drivers. In the coherent motion task, displays consisted of either a 2D or 3D array of dots, in which a portion of the dots moved in a uniform direction (i.e., coherency) and the remaining dots moved in random directions (i.e., noise). Participants were asked to identify the perceived direction of the coherent dots (in 2D displays) or to identify the perceived moving direction of the viewer (in 3D displays). Dot density and dot lifetimes were manipulated while coherency threshold was measured using the best BEST procedure. In the steering control task, participants viewed a 3D array of moving random dots and were asked to respond to a sinusoidal perturbation to their lateral position, simulating a driving behavior. Forty participants performed the coherent motion task and the steering control task. We found that temporal and spatial integration of the stimuli, and not display type, affected performance on the coherent motion task. A structural equation model revealed that coherent motion performance accounted for nearly 30% of steering control performance. These results suggest that under reduced visibility conditions, temporal and spatial integration of visual information may play an important role in certain aspects of driving, such as steering control.

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