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MonthlyFFebruary 2022

202202.09 Neural correlates of safe driving performance (paper publication) Posted in RESEARCH

Distracted attention is considered responsible for most car accidents, and many functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) researchers have addressed its neural correlates using a car-driving simulator. Previous studies, however, have not directly addressed safe driving performance and did not place pedestrians in the simulator environment. In this fMRI study, we simulated a pedestrian-rich environment to explore the neural correlates of three types of safe driving performance: driving accuracy, the braking response to a preceding car, and the braking response to a crossing pedestrian. Activation of the bilateral frontoparietal control network predicted high driving accuracy. On the other hand, activation of the left posterior and right anterior superior temporal sulci preceding a sudden pedestrian crossing predicted a slow braking response. The results suggest the involvement of different cognitive processes in different components of driving safety: the facilitatory effect of maintained attention on driving accuracy and the distracting effect of social–cognitive processes on the braking response to pedestrians. This study was conducted in collaboration with DENSO CORPORATION and published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (Oba)
https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2022.754379

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