Driving with Homonymous Visual Field Defects

Chapter

Abstract

Driving vehicles are part of an ultimate technology in modern societies allowing the user to travel and navigate short distances within urban regions as well as long routes within large-scale environments. Thereby, the ability to drive enables us to enlarge our own, biologically defined and restricted range of mobility in a nearly unlimited manner. Driving, that is, controlling a vehicle in a visually cluttered environment, involves the simultaneous use of central and peripheral vision and the execution of primary and secondary tasks (both visual and non-visual). As a vehicle moves through the environment, the visual input is rapidly changing and the driver is therefore often uncertain as to when and where a critical visual event will occur. Consequently, appropriate gaze behavior is a necessary cognitive tool for a safe drive in order to maximize information acquisition together with adequate interpretations and predictions of environmental situations based on memories.

In this chapter, the overall demands of driving are summarized and discussed in relationship with sensory, motor, and cognitive functions. Furthermore, several options to assess driving fitness in real (on-road) and virtual (simulator) environments together with the present regulations concerning the permission to drive are discussed respecting healthy drivers as well as visually impaired hemianopic patients. Finally, conclusions are provided by illustrating the complexity of the task of driving that leads to an overall high variability of behavioral strategies, which is in cause manifested in large individual differences.

Keywords

Hemianopia Driving Eye movements Head movements Compensatory patterns Visual search Brain lesions 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Perception Engineering Group, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of BiologyUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany

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