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M.C. Puell, A. Barrio, A. Langa, M.J. Perez–Carrasco, C. Sanchez–Ramos, L. Batres, J. Abad–Leon, L. Montero, A. Gil; Effect of Auditory Psychometric Tasks and Low Alcohol Concentrations on the Useful Field of View . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):3685.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Useful Field of View (UFOV) assessment is a valid and reliable index of driving performance and safety. Our goal was to investigate the effects on the UFOV of 1) auditory psychometric tasks that simulate the distraction effect of a hands–free cell phone, and 2) low alcohol concentrations.
Thirty–seven healthy vehicle drivers aged 22±3 were subjected to a computer version of the UFOV test in two separate sessions undertaken according to a counterbalanced within–subject design. The two sessions: an "alcohol session" (breath alcohol concentrations 0.15 – 0.25 mg litre–1) and "sober session", were conducted both while undertaking or not undertaking a psychometric test, the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT). In each session, the subjects performed three UFOV subtests: stimulus identification, divided attention, and selective attention. Scores were based on processing speed as the time taken to identify a central target and the location of a peripheral target. Each subject was instructed to concentrate on the PASAT while taking the UFOV test.
UFOV scores for the three subtests were affected when the PASAT was simultaneously performed (P < 0.01) in both the sober and alcohol sessions (Table 1) in that longer times were required to complete each task. UFOV test results were, however, not significantly affected by a low alcohol concentration. Percentages of correct responses and lapses in the PASAT were significantly (p<0.01) lower and higher, respectively, while taking the UFOV test. Table 1. Means and standard deviations obtained in the Useful Field of View (UFOV) test expressed as time in ms.
A moderate auditory task significantly affects a subject’s performance in the UFOV. According to UFOV risk categories our results suggest that using a hands–free cell phone while driving may lead to a "low–to–moderate" crash risk. UFOV scores were nevertheless unaffected by alcohol concentrations.
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