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Title:Transfer of Skill From a Computer -Based Training Program to Driving in a Simulated Environment
Author(s):Cassavaugh, Nicholas D.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kramer, Arthur F.
Department / Program:Psychology
Discipline:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Psychology, Developmental
Abstract:Drivers over the age of about 70 years are at higher risk than other drivers for fatal crash involvement. As the U.S. population ages and the number of drivers over 70 increases, older drivers' safety becomes more of an issue for them and the drivers on the road with them. Working memory, visual attention, decision making, manual control and other cognitive abilities are involved in safe driving. Age-related declines in these abilities may contribute to this risk as driving is a complex task which taps these and other abilities. Training improves performance on these abilities and has been shown to transfer from a training protocol to a real-world task. The present research developed a computer-based multi-task training program aimed at improving performance in selective attention, working memory, manual tracking and taskcoordination ability. Older adults' driving performance was first assessed in a driving simulator. Participants were asked to follow a lead vehicle and perform working-memory and attention side-tasks. Eight days of multi-task variable priority training was then provided to a randomlyassigned training group. The control group played computer card games for eight days. Drivers' performance in the simulator was then reassessed. Driving performance was predicted to improve more in the training group than in the control group. Analysis of the training data showed that the training was effective in improving performance on the trained tasks. No significant transfer of training effects were found for driving performance. Some transfer of training effects were found in the side-task measures (e.g. visual selective attention and 1-back working memory tasks), suggesting that there was some transfer from the training tasks to the driving tasks, particularly in more difficult conditions. Regression analysis demonstrated that a participant's training effect size (difference between performance in the first vs. last training session) was a significant predictor of some measures of driving performance (e.g. lane position, following distance).
Issue Date:2007
Type:Text
Language:English
Description:140 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/82126
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3269854
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2007


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