Spatial and temporal EEG dynamics of dual-task driving performance

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 2011, 8 (1)
Issue Date:
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Background: Driver distraction is a significant cause of traffic accidents. The aim of this study is to investigate Electroencephalography (EEG) dynamics in relation to distraction during driving. To study human cognition under a specific driving task, simulated real driving using virtual reality (VR)-based simulation and designed dual-task events are built, which include unexpected car deviations and mathematics questions. Methods. We designed five cases with different stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) to investigate the distraction effects between the deviations and equations. The EEG channel signals are first converted into separated brain sources by independent component analysis (ICA). Then, event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP) changes of the EEG power spectrum are used to evaluate brain dynamics in time-frequency domains. Results: Power increases in the theta and beta bands are observed in relation with distraction effects in the frontal cortex. In the motor area, alpha and beta power suppressions are also observed. All of the above results are consistently observed across 15 subjects. Additionally, further analysis demonstrates that response time and multiple cortical EEG power both changed significantly with different SOA. Conclusions: This study suggests that theta power increases in the frontal area is related to driver distraction and represents the strength of distraction in real-life situations. © 2011 Lin et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
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