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Modeling cognitive load effects of conversation between a passenger and driver


Tillman, G and Strayer, D and Eidels, A and Heathcote, A, Modeling cognitive load effects of conversation between a passenger and driver, Attention Perception & Psychophysics, 79, (6) pp. 1795-1803. ISSN 1943-3921 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2017

DOI: doi:10.3758/s13414-017-1337-2


Cognitive load from secondary tasks is a source of distraction causing injuries and fatalities on the roadway. The Detection Response Task (DRT) is an international standard for assessing cognitive load on driversí attention that can be performed as a secondary task with little to no measurable effect on the primary driving task. We investigated whether decrements in DRT performance were related to the rate of information processing, levels of response caution, or the non-decision processing of drivers. We had pairs of participants take part in the DRT while performing a simulated driving task, manipulated cognitive load via the conversation between driver and passenger, and observed associated slowing in DRT response time. Fits of the single-bound diffusion model indicated that slowing was mediated by an increase in response caution. We propose the novel hypothesis that, rather than the DRTís sensitivity to cognitive load being a direct result of a loss of information processing capacity to other tasks, it is an indirect result of a general tendency to be more cautious when making responses in more demanding situations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:single-bound diffusion, detection response task, driving simulation
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Memory and attention
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Heathcote, A (Professor Andrew Heathcote)
ID Code:116723
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2017-05-17
Last Modified:2018-07-25

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