Neural Correlates of Older Driver Performance

Granting Agency:

Researchers: Madhav Chitturi, Veena Nair, Vivek Prabhakaran, Dorothy Farrar-Edwards, David Noyce

Primary Project Objectives

As the older population rapidly increases in the developed world, there are several challenges to maintaining a positive quality of life: one of which is keeping older people safe and mobile. Current paradigms of identifying unsafe older drivers include perceptual-cognitive-psychomotor tests and driving simulator assessments. The reliability of these approaches has been questioned by previous research. Studies have shown that neuroimaging can predict changes in behavior. Neuroimaging may enable us to develop or identify neuropsychological tests that are more specific and sensitive than the current tests for identifying unsafe older drivers. We outline a series of approaches of how this could be used to develop a better screening neuropsychological testing battery for identifying older people who may likely be unsafe drivers. Early identification of unsafe drivers might allow for the possibility of improving their driving through driving improvement lessons both behaviorally as well as utilizing other novel methods that we outline in the proposal. The innovative approach combines neurobiological and neuropsychological metrics together with performance in a full scale driving simulator.

Research is still underway.

Color map.

Work on highway.