Conference Proceeding

Age-Related Limits of 3D Spatial Attention in Dual-Task Driving

  • Russell Pierce (University of California-Riverside, Riverside, California)
  • Zheng Bian (University of California-Riverside, Riverside, California)
  • George Andersen (University of California-Riverside, Riverside, California)


A previous experiment by Andersen, Ni, Bian and Kang (2010) examined the limits of 3D spatial attention in younger drivers. In the current experiment, we examined age-related differences in the extent of 3D spatial attention by assessing participants' ability to detect a light-change target in an array of lights over a simulated roadway while performing a car following task. We found that reaction time to light-change targets presented during a car following task varied as a function of distance and horizontal position in younger adults, but only a function of distance in older adults. That is, the breadth of spatial attention for older drivers is constant across various depths. However, the depth of spatial attention may be somewhat less for older drivers as they respond to targets far away at approximately the same speed as younger drivers do for the lights at the same distance in the most extreme horizontal position. The results of the present study suggest that tests to assess crash risk, such as the UFOV, are limited in scope because such tests fail to consider the variation in attention as a function of distance.

How to Cite:

Pierce, R. & Bian, Z. & Andersen, G., (2011) “Age-Related Limits of 3D Spatial Attention in Dual-Task Driving”, Driving Assessment Conference 6(2011), 314-320. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2011 the author(s)

Publisher Notes

  • Honda Outstanding Student Paper Award

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Published on
29 Jun 2011
Peer Reviewed