ABSTRACT

This study examined impairments of visual attention and driving performance in mild cognitive impairment(MCI), mild Alzheimer's disease(AD), and control groups. All groups were subjected to several web-based neuropsychological tests, including a continuous performance test, a visual search task, and a change blindness task in order to measure impairments in visual attention. In addition, a driving simulator was employed to compare driving performances among the three groups. As a result, AD group showed poorer performances on the visual attention task compared to MCI and control groups. Using a K-means cluster analysis with five driving performance scales, the declined cognitive function group(AD+MCI) was divided into Good/Bad driver subgroups. Finally, a discriminant function analysis was conducted to test whether the five measures of visual attention could successfully classify the two groups. As a result, 81% of the members were correctly classified, suggesting that impairments on visual attention in AD and MCI may cause poor driving performances. Also, it was demonstrated that visual attention tests might be useful in determining the suitability of obtaining or keeping a driving license in AD patients. Several limitations of the present study and suggestions for further research were discussed.

KEYWORD

visual attention, mild Alzheimer's disease, declined cognitive ability, driving performance.

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