THE INTERFERING EFFECT OF PERFORMING ONE VISUO-SPATIAL TASK WHILST DRIVING

There is widespread evidence that the use of imagery interferes with tasks that are also known to rely on imagery. In particular, the departure point of our work was to tackle this problem in traffic safety using the dual-task method developed for the study of working memory and attention. The goal of our research was to analyse the role of visual imagery in memory while driving a car. Firstly, we were interested in ascertaining the effect of performing two concurrent spatial tasks that we usually carry out. The first one was a simulation task of driving down the freeway, keeping the car in the lane. At the same time, subjects had to follow an interfering secondary task. This secondary task could be either a visual or a verbal one. We initially thought of using football information as this concurrent task, either as a broadcast of football game or as a football program. But we decided to use two alternative secondary tasks to avoid emotional and motivational biases against or in favour of football. Therefore the visual secondary task involved listening to a tourist tour tape around the city of Granada where many visuo-spatial references were made. The verbal secondary task involved listening to a historical tour tape around the city of Granada where very few visuo-spatial references were named. Twenty-four subjects performed the experiment following a mixed design. Our results showed that listening to the visuo-spatial information on the tape seriously disrupted the tracking task. Therefore, this study has shown that a concurrent spatial task has an effect on the suppression of visual imagery. According to our data we can generalise that accurate driving could be disrupted by listening to a football match or other kinds of spatial information. (A) For the covering abstract see ITRD E106152.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Elsevier

    The Boulevard, Langford Lane
    Kidlington, Oxford  United Kingdom  OX5 1GB
  • Authors:
    • CASTRO, C
    • Martos, F J
  • Publication Date: 1999

Language

  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00799774
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-08-043671-4
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Oct 6 2000 12:00AM