NeuroCar Virtual Driving Environment: Simultaneous Evaluation of Driving Skills and Spatial Perceptual-attentional Capacity
We describe here a simple, inexpensive and effective system for simultaneous evaluation of a subject's driving ability and spatial auditory and visual perception and attention. It consists of a commercial steering wheel and virtual glasses and a program for driving on a two-lane road with curvatures at about 100 km/h speed, and simultaneously reacting by pressing two buttons attached to the steering wheel to randomly delivered uni- and bilateral auditory signals via earphones and light dots appearing in the peripheral visual field. Three different difficulty levels of the task were applied in randomized counterbalanced order, each session of 2 min duration. The results of 25 young (17-45 years) and 20 elderly (47-96 years) healthy participants demonstrate the tendency for simultaneous right side spatial perceptual/attentional bias and the left side driving bias especially in the elderly participants.