Conference Proceeding

Peripheral Motion Contrast Sensitivity and Older Drivers' Detection Failure Accident Risk

  • Steven Henderson (Transportation Safety Board of Canada)
  • Robert C Donderi (McGill University)


Eighteen older drivers (66-88) and their passengers both reported on the drivers’ performance using detection deficit questionnaires that elicited responses related to attention and to speed and accuracy of object motion perception. The measure of detection deficit was an equally weighted combination of standardized responses from the 17-item driver questionnaire and the 11-item passenger questionnaire. Peripheral stationary and drifting contrast sensitivity was determined for 0.4 cycles per degree sine wave gratings at fifteen degrees eccentricity. The temporal two-alternative forced choice staircase procedure consisted of randomly interleaved left and right visual field grating presentations. The correlation between log10 motion contrast sensitivity and detection deficit was -.63 (p < .01), between age and detection deficit was .56 (p < .05), and between age and log10 motion contrast sensitivity was -.54 (p < .05). The partial correlation between log10 motion sensitivity and detection deficit, independent of age, was -.47 (p = .054). We concluded that some age-related driving performance deficits are associated with reduced sensitivity to motion in the visual periphery. Peripheral motion contrast sensitivity was discussed in relation to “useful field of view” (UFOV®) measures of visual function, and offered as a primary deficit of high risk drivers with mild Alzheimer's disease.

How to Cite:

Henderson, S. & Donderi, R., (2005) “Peripheral Motion Contrast Sensitivity and Older Drivers' Detection Failure Accident Risk”, Driving Assessment Conference 3(2005), 41-50. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2005 the author(s)

Download pdf
View PDF



Published on
28 Jun 2005
Peer Reviewed