Sources of secondary task interference with driving: Executive processes or verbal and visuo-spatial rehearsal processes?
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Morris, N., Phillips, C., Thibault, K., & Chaparro, A. (2008). Sources of secondary task interference with driving: Executive processes or verbal and visuo-spatial rehearsal processes? Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 52(19), 1556-1559.
We investigated the effects of secondary working memory tasks that loaded either visuo-spatial working memory or verbal working memory (phonological loop) and which required either rehearsal or executive processes involving stimulus manipulation. The effects of the secondary tasks on driver look-out behavior and driving performance were assessed. Preliminary studies were conducted to select tasks that resulted in similar levels of accuracy and perceived difficulty across modalities (visuo-spatial, verbal, rehearse, and manipulate). Piloting and the preliminary studies were also used to evaluate different visual tasks and to select a visual task that could not be encoded verbally. Results of the study reveal that driving performance is significantly impaired while performing a secondary manipulation task than performing a rehearsal task of equivalent difficulty. The study finds that visuo-spatial and verbal secondary tasks produce the same level of interference with overall driving performance.
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