Research Lecture Series Effects of Age and Visual Field Loss on Scanning and Detection at Intersection

Alex Bowers, PhD, from the Schepens Eye Research Institution, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School will present a lecture on Tuesday, October 28 on the Effects of Age and Visual Field Loss on Scanning and Detection at Intersections.

About 25% of fatal accidents occur at intersections with older drivers over represented, especially at non-signalized intersections. A wide field of view (up to 180°) has to be checked for potential hazards before entering an intersection, requiring head as well as eye movements. An important question is whether or not the driver looked (scanned) before entering the intersection and if he did look, whether the collision object was detected. Increasing age may be accompanied by declining attentional capacities and restrictions in physical abilities (restricted neck rotations) which could adversely affect intersection scanning. Efficient scanning is even more critical for drivers with visual field loss; if they do not scan, then a hazard that appears within a field loss area might never be seen. Within the safe environment of a driving simulator, we have been investigating the effects of age and visual field loss on scanning and detection at intersections. Our results suggest that both failing to scan, and scanning, but not sufficiently far, may contribute to intersection detection failures of older drivers with normal vision and drivers with visual field loss.

All are welcome to attend. One hour of Mass C.E. credit will be awarded.

Please join us for a reception in Conference room 1 following the lecture. Wine and light fare will be served.