Slower adaptation to driving simulator and simulator sickness in older adults

ArticleinAging - Clinical and Experimental Research 24(3):285-9 · June 2012with53 Reads
Impact Factor: 1.22 · Source: PubMed
Abstract

Methods of assessing driving abilities in the elderly are urgently needed. Although the driving simulator (DS) appears to be a safe and cost-effective method of objectively evaluating driving performance, it may pose adaptation problems for elderly adults. In this study, we examined age-related adaptation deficits on the DS. Healthy young adults (n=15) and healthy elderly persons (n=17) completed some neuropsychological tests, and then performed a road-tracking task with the DS, which was repeated four times (Trials 1-4). After simulated driving in DS, simulator sickness (SS) was observed in 18.8% of participants. The frequency of SS was 29.4% in elderly adults and 6.7% in young adults, and 17.6% of the elderly participants dropped out of the experiment. Performance on the Necker cube copying task was significantly correlated with the onset of SS. Driving performance also showed a significant interaction between group and trial, for both driving accuracy and vehicle speed. In addition, the performance of elderly adults significantly improved between trials 1 and 4, reaching a plateau in trial 4, whereas that of young adults did not change across trials. This study provides preliminary evidence of slower adaptation to a DS-based driving task by older adults, which was associated with cognitive aging. Age affected driving accuracy and velocity when a road-tracking task was simply repeated. It is concluded that the capacity of elderly people to adapt to DS environments should be taken into consideration when evaluating their performance on DS tasks.

    • "This can include reducing speed when faced with challenging scenarios (e.g., Trick et al., 2010). In the current investigation, older adults may have traveled at a lower rate of speed compared to younger adults in order to maintain broad safety margins as they acclimatized to the driving task, a process that can take longer for older adults to complete (e.g., Kawano et al., 2012). Conversely, younger adults are known to drive faster than older adults in both real vehicles and in driving simulators (see Mullen et al., 2011 for review) and do so regardless of the prevailing task demands (e.g., Trick et al., 2010). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent evidence suggests that visual-auditory cue integration may change as a function of age such that integration is heightened among older adults. Our goal was to determine whether these changes in multisensory integration are also observed in the context of self-motion perception under realistic task constraints. Thus, we developed a simulated driving paradigm in which we provided older and younger adults with visual motion cues (i.e. optic flow) and systematically manipulated the presence or absence of congruent auditory cues to self-motion (i.e. engine, tire, and wind sounds). Results demonstrated that the presence or absence of congruent auditory input had different effects on older and younger adults. Both age groups demonstrated a reduction in speed variability when auditory cues were present compared to when they were absent, but older adults demonstrated a proportionally greater reduction in speed variability under combined sensory conditions. These results are consistent with evidence indicating that multisensory integration is heightened in older adults. Importantly, this study is the first to provide evidence to suggest that age differences in multisensory integration may generalize from simple stimulus detection tasks to the integration of the more complex and dynamic visual and auditory cues that are experienced during self-motion.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2016 · Frontiers in Psychology
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    • "First, it is considerably more portable than a three-dimensional environment (or the NAT), which could facilitate assessment in clinical settings. Second, the non-immersive environment limits the risk of simulation sickness, a well-known problem in virtual assessment of elderly subjects (Kawano et al., 2012). The simulated coffee preparation task was chosen because it constitutes a familiar task that requires multiple cognitive processes , such as serial ordering of several steps (open the drawer, etc.), object selection (filter, etc.), and technical manipulations (coffee machine) to achieve a practical goal. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes impairments affecting instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). However, few studies have considered virtual reality as an ecologically valid tool for the assessment of IADL in patients who have sustained a TBI. The main objective of the present study was to examine the use of the Nonimmersive Virtual Coffee Task (NI-VCT) for IADL assessment in patients with TBI. We analyzed the performance of 19 adults suffering from TBI and 19 healthy controls (HCs) in the real and virtual tasks of making coffee with a coffee machine, as well as in global IQ and executive functions. Patients performed worse than HCs on both real and virtual tasks and on all tests of executive functions. Correlation analyses revealed that NI-VCT scores were related to scores on the real task. Moreover, regression analyses demonstrated that performance on NI-VCT matched real-task performance. Our results support the idea that the virtual kitchen is a valid tool for IADL assessment in patients who have sustained a TBI.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Applied Neuropsychology: Adult
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    • "First, it is considerably more portable than a three-dimensional environment (or the NAT), which could facilitate assessment in clinical settings. Second, the non-immersive environment limits the risk of simulation sickness, a well-known problem in virtual assessment of elderly subjects (Kawano et al., 2012). The simulated coffee preparation task was chosen because it constitutes a familiar task that requires multiple cognitive processes , such as serial ordering of several steps (open the drawer, etc.), object selection (filter, etc.), and technical manipulations (coffee machine) to achieve a practical goal. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) causes impairments affecting instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). Transdisciplinary research in neuropsychology and virtual reality has fostered the development of ecologically valid virtual tools for the assessment of IADL, using simulations of real life activities. Few studies have examined the benefits of this approach in AD patients. Our aim was to examine the utility of a non-immersive virtual coffee task (NI-VCT) for assessment of IADL in these patients. We focus on the assessment results obtained from a group of 24 AD patients on a task designed to assess their ability to prepare a virtual cup of coffee, using a virtual coffee machine. We compared performance on the virtual task to an identical daily living task involving the actual preparation of a cup of coffee, as well as to global cognitive, executive, and caregiver-reported IADL functioning. Relative to 32 comparable, healthy elderly (HE) controls, AD patients performed worse than HE controls on all tasks. Correlation analyses revealed that NI-VCT measures were related to all other neuropsychological measures. Moreover, regression analyses demonstrated that performance on the NI-VCT predicted actual task performance and caregiver-reported IADL functioning. Our results provide initial support for the utility of our virtual kitchen for assessment of IADL in AD patients. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1-10).
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