Prospective memory abilities while driving in adults with an autism spectrum disorder. Paper presented at “the 18th European Conference on Developmental Psychology” in Utrecht, the Netherlands

V. Ross, G. Vanroelen, EMM Jongen, T. Brijs, M. Altgassen, K. Van Vlierden, M. Van Beers, RAC Ruiter, G. Wets, K. Brijs

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

    Abstract

    Aim. Driving is an important step towards autonomy. The driving task consists of several subtasks, running in
    parallel. This requires the ability to switch in a smooth manner (e.g., shifting, steering, changing lanes, and
    keeping traffic rules into account). Therefore, driving is a complex goal-directed task that places high demands
    on perceptual, cognitive, and motor processes. The little research that exists suggests that people with ASD
    experience difficulties more specifically in complex driving situations, requiring multi-tasking and inducing
    increased cognitive load. Furthermore, it is not only necessary to handle the vehicle, but also to navigate
    through rural, urban, and highway traffic environments while concurrently remembering appointments and
    obeying a schedule. People with ASD however experience difficulties with coordinating and sequencing
    activities, and with planning ahead. Following this, prospective memory (PM) might interfere with driving. PM
    is the ability to remember to carry out intended actions in the future while being engaged in other ongoing
    activities. Two subtypes of PM are event-based PM (EBPM) and time-based PM (TBPM). The former refers to
    the execution of intentions at certain events (i.e., prospective cues), the latter refers to the execution of
    intentions at certain times.
    Methods. This driving simulator study aims to investigate PM (i.e., EBPM and TBPM) as an underlying
    mechanism of driving in adults with ASD (i.e., 18-62 years old). To this end, we translated several EBPM and time-based PM (TBPM). The former refers to
    the execution of intentions at certain events (i.e., prospective cues), the latter refers to the execution of
    intentions at certain times.
    Methods. This driving simulator study aims to investigate PM (i.e., EBPM and TBPM) as an underlying
    mechanism of driving in adults with ASD (i.e., 18-62 years old). To this end, we translated several EBPM and
    TBPM tasks to a simulated driving environment. The influence of cognitive abilities (e.g., working memory, planning) is also investigated. A control group, balanced for age and gender, is included. The inclusion of a
    broad age range allows the investigation of developmental cognitive differences.
    Results. Data collection is ongoing and will be finished in February. The analyses are planned in March.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017
    Event18th European Conference on Developmental Psychology - Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
    Duration: 28 Aug 20161 Sep 2017
    Conference number: 18

    Conference

    Conference18th European Conference on Developmental Psychology
    Abbreviated titleECDP2017
    Country/TerritoryNetherlands
    CityUtrecht
    Period28/08/161/09/17

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