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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/25717

Title: Neural Correlates of Driving in a Virtual Reality Environment
Authors: Kan, Karen
Advisor: Schweizer, Tom
Department: Biomedical Engineering
Keywords: driving
fMRI
virtual reality
Issue Date: 6-Jan-2011
Abstract: Driving is a cognitively complex task, yet the areas of the brain involved in driving are not well understood. This thesis investigates the neural correlates of driving using functional magnetic resonance imaging and driving simulations with custom built driving hardware (steering wheel and foot pedals). The feasibility of driving in fMRI is first investigated, and a methodology is described to minimize head motions. Next, the functional neuroanatomical correlates of driving tasks of varying complexity are explored. Simple tasks such as straight driving activate areas of the brain related to motion, spatial navigation and coordination. Complex tasks are found to recruit additional areas of the brain, including areas of higher cognitive function such as the prefrontal cortex. Developing a better understanding of the areas involved in different driving tasks is an important first step in understanding the neural basis of driving skill and safe driving.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/25717
Appears in Collections:Master
Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering - Master theses

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