Exploring the Brain Responses to Driving Fatigue through Simultaneous EEG and fNIRS Measurements

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Neural Systems, 2020, 30 (1)
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© 2020 World Scientific Publishing Company. Fatigue is one problem with driving as it can lead to difficulties with sustaining attention, behavioral lapses, and a tendency to ignore vital information or operations. In this research, we explore multimodal physiological phenomena in response to driving fatigue through simultaneous functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and electroencephalography (EEG) recordings with the aim of investigating the relationships between hemodynamic and electrical features and driving performance. Sixteen subjects participated in an event-related lane-deviation driving task while measuring their brain dynamics through fNIRS and EEGs. Three performance groups, classified as Optimal, Suboptimal, and Poor, were defined for comparison. From our analysis, we find that tonic variations occur before a deviation, and phasic variations occur afterward. The tonic results show an increased concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO2) and power changes in the EEG theta, alpha, and beta bands. Both dynamics are significantly correlated with deteriorated driving performance. The phasic EEG results demonstrate event-related desynchronization associated with the onset of steering vehicle in all power bands. The concentration of phasic HbO2 decreased as performance worsened. Further, the negative correlations between tonic EEG delta and alpha power and HbO2 oscillations suggest that activations in HbO2 are related to mental fatigue. In summary, combined hemodynamic and electrodynamic activities can provide complete knowledge of the brain's responses as evidence of state changes during fatigue driving.
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