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Modeling Cognitive Load Effects of Conversation Between a Passenger and Driver

Tillman, G, Strayer, D, Eidels, A and Heathcote, A ORCID: 0000-0003-4324-5537 2017 , 'Modeling Cognitive Load Effects of Conversation Between a Passenger and Driver' , Attention Perception & Psychophysics, vol. 79, no. 6 , pp. 1795-1803 , doi: 10.3758/s13414-017-1337-2.

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Abstract

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

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Tillman, G and Strayer, D and Eidels, A and Heathcote, A
Keywords: Single-Bound Diffusion, Detection Response Task, Driving Simulation
Journal or Publication Title: Attention Perception & Psychophysics
Publisher: Springer New York LLC
ISSN: 1943-3921
DOI / ID Number: 10.3758/s13414-017-1337-2
Copyright Information:

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2017

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