Conference Proceeding

3D Spatial Attention Effects are Independent of Projected 2D Size and Location for Older and Younger Drivers

  • Russell S Pierce (University of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA)
  • George J Andersen (University of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA)


Previous research has found the reaction time (RT) to light change targets when performing a car following task, is partially dependent on the distance in depth of the target from the driver. Researchers have concluded from this evidence that the spatial extent of attention is three dimensional (3D) during dual-task driving. However, in prior experiments the effect of two-dimensional (2D) projected size and position was not experimentally controlled. If spatial attention is 3D, then there should be an effect of target distance when 2D projected size and position are constant. The purpose of the current work was to assess this hypothesis. We manipulated the size and position of light-change targets at different depths to hold the projected size and position of targets constant between blocks. Although projected size and position were identical in this experiment, the results demonstrated that for younger and older drivers, targets further from the driver were responded to more slowly than targets closer to the driver. These results demonstrate that 3D attention effects are not dependent on projected size or position, and that the mechanism of 3D attention is present in younger and older drivers. These results, considered with the findings of other studies, suggest that tests to assess crash risk, such as the UFOV, are limited in scope because such tests fail to incorporate variation in attention as a function of distance.

How to Cite:

Pierce, R. & Andersen, G., (2013) “3D Spatial Attention Effects are Independent of Projected 2D Size and Location for Older and Younger Drivers”, Driving Assessment Conference 7(2013), 453-459. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2013 the author(s)

Publisher Notes

  • Honda Outstanding Student Paper Award

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Published on
20 Jun 2013
Peer Reviewed