Associations of physical activity with driving-related cognitive abilities in older drivers: An exploratory study
Department of Sport and Health, University of Evora, Portugal.Perceptual and Motor Skills (Impact Factor: 0.66). 10/2012; 115(2):521-33. DOI: 10.2466/10.06.25.PMS.115.5.521-533
The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between hysical activity and driving-related cognitive abilities of older drivers. Thirty-eight female and male drivers ages 61 to 81 years (M = 70.2, SD = 5.0) responded to the International Physical Activity Questionnaire and were assessed on a battery of neuropsychological tests, which included measures of visual attention, executive functioning, mental status, visuospatial ability, and memory. A higher amount of reported physical activity was significantly correlated with better scores on tests of visual processing speed and divided visual attention. Higher amounts of physical activity was significantly associated with a better composite score for visual attention, but its correlation with the composite score for executive functioning was not significant. These findings support the hypothesis that pzhysical activity is associated with preservation of specific driving-related cognitive abilities of older adults.
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- "Some of other studies summarise the characteristics of older drivers' car crashes. Older drivers are less likely to be involved in crashes caused by fatigue, high speed, weather condition or alcohol, but are more likely to be involved in crashes in the following scenarios: manoeuvres through intersections or T-junctions; failure to yield the right of way; failure to identify hazards or to heed stop signs/traffic signals; and problems involved in turning and changing lanes (McGwin Jr 1999; Clarke, Ward et al. 2010; Marmeleira, Ferreira et al. 2012). Charlton et al. (2006) surveyed the self-regulatory driving practices of 656 older drivers and found that older drivers tend to avoid driving in busy traffic or at night, and especially at nights in wet conditions. "
ABSTRACT: Safe driving constantly requires the driver’s ability in response to the dynamic traffic scene under space and time constraints. It is of particular importance for older drivers to perform sufficient visual, motor actions and effective coordination between them. Yet few studies have been able to integrate driver’s visual and vehicle control data with environment information to assess their driving behaviours in a spatial-temporal context. A framework has thus been developed, in the attempt of a psycho-geoinformatics approach, for investigating older adults’ driving behaviors and the underlying cognitive mechanisms by taking advantage of high frequency tracking of eye movement and vehicle kinematic, and spatial-temporal analysis from GIsciences, also the standard psychometrics tests related to driving abilities. Recordings from the driver and his/her interactions with vehicle and environment at a microscopic scale will give a closer assessment of driver’s behaviours, its evolution across space and time and thus a better understanding of driver’s cognitive processes. This paper aims to present the framework of the basic concepts, design and implementation of this study, as well as the practical considerations.
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ABSTRACT: The objective of this paper is to uncover the main antecedents associated with driving errors among older drivers in order to establish a framework for analyzing potential skill improvements using other approaches, for example, games. The article also aims at classifying age-related declines in seniors' abilities associated with their driving performance. The research undertakes an analysis of attempts made through the investigation of the literature. We have systematically searched papers and extracted (1) prevalent driving errors among seniors and (2) underlying age-related declines in seniors' abilities associated with their driving performance. We have also identified some characteristics of the research in this area (e.g. the research methods and geographical distribution of the research). Our expert panel mapped the functional declines in seniors' abilities to the driving errors to identify the relationship between these findings. A reliability test resulted in 81% reliability of findings. We have identified eight groups of driving errors, which could be affected by physical, visual, and cognitive declines among seniors. According to the experts' opinions, the underlying relationship of physical, visual, and cognitive declines among seniors and their driving errors were also presented. Our findings show that there is a potential for the use of innovative interventions such as playing video games to create an inexpensive, motivational, and enjoyable method that may provide a transfer effect to specific driving skills. This could help improve seniors' driving performance by improving specific functional abilities associated with driving.
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ABSTRACT: The number of older adults over the age of 65 is rapidly increasing. This change in demographics will not only increase the prevalence of chronic medical issues, but also result in higher rates of age-associated cognitive decline. Mechanisms for age-related cognitive decline are unclear, although many persons show Alzheimer’s disease pathology, changes to cerebral blood flow, inflammation, and structural changes such as atrophy and increased white matter lesions. Increased levels of physical activity and exercise have been found to benefit older adults’ cognitive functioning through changes in brain volume and cerebral blood flow. However, these studies are unable to explain the cognitive benefits of physical activity and exercise in the absence of improvement in brain structure or blood flow, suggesting other moderating factors. An unexamined factor that may link physical activity/exercise and cognition in older adults is improved sleep. Poor sleep has already been found to contribute to cognitive decline and to improve through increased physical activity or exercise in older adults. To date, few studies have examined the relationship among cognition, physical activity/exercise, and sleep. It is unknown if sleep is a moderator for the cognitive benefits of physical activity in older adults. This review proposes sleep as a potential moderator between cognitive function and physical activity/exercise by way of cerebral blood flow. Clinical implications and future areas of research will also be discussed.
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