R. Matos, M. Godinho
Driving performance can deteriorate and become potentially dangerous when someone pays attention to a secondary task at the expenses of the attention needed to the main driving task. We wanted to verify if there were differences on the capacity of novice drivers to detect peripheral lights at the left or right over the front panel, according to their status (team-sport players and non-players). To force them to divide attention, there were several marks in the pavement they had to pass over. An experimental group of non-players was submitted to the Peripheral Vision and Reaction Time (PVRT) Training Program, to verify if it would improve significantly more than the control group. The results show us that team-sport players surpassed in a significant way non-players in the detection of peripheral stimuli, though there were no significant differences on the peripheral reaction time. After the Training Program, the non-players experimental group scored significantly better than the non-trained group, diminishing significantly, also, their peripheral reaction time, showing that it is possible to develop and transfer perceptual skills from perceptual-motor activity to driving that help to diminish the distraction or lack of ability to divide attention between central and peripheral tasks.
Keywords: divided attention; novice drivers; peripheral vision; reaction time; team sport-players; transfer