INTERFERENCE EFFECTS OF AN AUDITORY TASK ON ROAD RECOGNITION DEPEND ON THE DRIVING SITUATIONS
 
Kanda, K. and Sumi, K., Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan
 
The effects of an auditory task on recognition performance in driving situations were investigated. Thirty-two participants performed a road recognition task with and without a subsidiary auditory task in a laboratory. The road recognition task required participants to judge whether each of 32-items (e.g., road sign) appeared or not in video sequences of two types of driving situations: a broad suburban highway (simple road) and a narrow street in a city (demanding road). The auditory task consisted of short sentences presented through a headphone, requiring participants to answer whether or not each sentence was sensible and to recall an object word in the preceding sentence. The results of calculated d' values for the recognition items showed that the negative effect of the auditory task was found only in simple road situations. The mean d' was lower in demanding road than in simple road regardless of the auditory task. The difference in road situations had no effect on sentence judgments, while demanding road affected the recall performance negatively. These results suggest that discrimination of the events in driving situations is easier in simple than in demanding situations, and that sensitivity to the events deteriorates by the auditory task in relatively open, and simple road environment. Furthermore, it is considered that more attentional resources are allocated to the recognition task from the subsidiary task under demanding situations. Some implications of the performance for real driving are discussed.