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Testing attention restoration in a virtual reality driving simulator

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dc.contributor.author Cassarino, Marica
dc.contributor.author Maisto, Marta
dc.contributor.author Esposito, Ylenia
dc.contributor.author Guerrero, Davide
dc.contributor.author Chan, Jason Seeho
dc.contributor.author Setti, Annalisa
dc.date.accessioned 2019-02-22T15:52:17Z
dc.date.available 2019-02-22T15:52:17Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/7619
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract Objectives: Attention Restoration Theory (ART) suggests that walking or being in natural settings, as opposed to urban environments, benefits cognitive skills because it is less demanding on attentional resources. However, it is unclear whether the same occurs when the person is performing a complex task such as driving, although it is proven that driving through different road environments is associated with different levels of fatigue and may engage attention differently. The present study investigated whether exposure to rural vs. urban road environments while driving would affect attentional capacity in young people after the drive, in line with the classic ART paradigms. Methods: We asked 38 young participants to complete the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) before and after being exposed to a rural or urban road in a virtual reality environment while driving in a full vehicle immersive driving simulator. Changes in SART performance based on environmental exposure where explored in terms of target sensitivity, accuracy, reaction times, and inverse efficiency. We analyzed potential road type effects on driving speed and accuracy. Possible effects of driving on attention were tested by comparing the sample performance to that of a control group of 15 participants who did not drive and sat on the passenger seat instead. Results: Exposure to rural or urban road environments in the driving sample was not associated with any significant changes in attentional performance. The two exposure groups did not differ significantly in terms of driving behavior. Comparisons between the driving sample and the control group controlling for age indicated that participants who drove were more accurate but slower at the SART than those who were passengers. Conclusion: The present study does not support the hypothesis that a short drive in a natural setting may promote attention restoration as compared to an urban setting. Methodological considerations as well as recommendations for future research are discussed. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Frontiers Media en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Frontiers in Psychology;10, article 250
dc.relation.uri https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00250
dc.rights First published by Frontiers Media in Frontiers Psychology 2019, 10, aticle 250 en_US
dc.subject attention restoration en_US
dc.subject driving simulator en_US
dc.subject virtual environment en_US
dc.subject driving behavior en_US
dc.subject mental fatigue en_US
dc.subject cognitive load en_US
dc.title Testing attention restoration in a virtual reality driving simulator en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00250
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US


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