Cardiac Autonomic Control During Simulated Driving With a Concurrent Verbal Working Memory Task

Physiological measures such as heart rate and heart rate variability can be sensitive to the effects of driving and side task performance and diagnostic of the source of the attentional demands. The authors hypothesize that increases in side task difficulty could elicit physiological change without reduction of driving task performance and that the side task demands would elicit patterns of autonomic activity that map to specific attentional processing resources. This study tests this hypothesis by investigating sensitivity and diagnosticity differences between cardiac measures and lane-keeping measures of driving performance. Separately and concurrently, 32 participants performed a simulated driving task and verbal working memory task (with two levels of difficulty). Attentional demands were assessed through physiological and performance measures. Results showed that cardiac measures can be sensitive to hidden costs in attention that do not manifest in coarse measures of driving performance. Correct predictions regarding the patterns of autonomic activity elicited indicates that cardiac measures can serve as diagnostic tools for assessments of driver attention.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 404-418
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01142589
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 28 2009 8:55AM