Visual motion perception predicts driving hazard perception ability

Lacherez, Philippe F., Au, Sandra, & Wood, Joanne M. (2012) Visual motion perception predicts driving hazard perception ability. Acta Ophthalmologica.

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PURPOSE: To examine the basis of previous findings of an association between indices of driving safety and visual motion sensitivity and to examine whether this association could be explained by low-level changes in visual function.

METHODS: 36 visually normal participants (aged 19 – 80 years), completed a battery of standard vision tests including visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and automated visual fields. and two tests of motion perception including sensitivity for movement of a drifting Gabor stimulus, and sensitivity for displacement in a random-dot kinematogram (Dmin). Participants also completed a hazard perception test (HPT) which measured participants’ response times to hazards embedded in video recordings of real world driving which has been shown to be linked to crash risk.

RESULTS: Dmin for the random-dot stimulus ranged from -0.88 to -0.12 log minutes of arc, and the minimum drift rate for the Gabor stimulus ranged from 0.01 to 0.35 cycles per second. Both measures of motion sensitivity significantly predicted response times on the HPT. In addition, while the relationship involving the HPT and motion sensitivity for the random-dot kinematogram was partially explained by the other visual function measures, the relationship with sensitivity for detection of the drifting Gabor stimulus remained significant even after controlling for these variables.

These findings suggest that motion perception plays an important role in the visual perception of driving-relevant hazards independent of other areas of visual function and should be further explored as a predictive test of driving safety. Future research should explore the causes of reduced motion perception in order to develop better interventions to improve road safety.

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 54650
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)
Keywords: driving;hazard perception;motion perception;vision
DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.2012.02575.x
ISSN: 0001-4575
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300)
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at
Deposited On: 07 Nov 2012 23:03
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2013 03:36

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