Cognitive Training as an Intervention to Improve Driving Ability in the Older Adult

The notion that cognitive and motor skills are plastic and can be improved with training is very exciting, because it opens up the possibility for rehabilitation and amelioration of age-related declines in performance. It has been shown that older adults can improve cognitive processes such as attentional control, memory, and speed of processing with training. Although transfer to other tasks has been reported, it is not clear whether benefits transfer to real-world tasks such as driving. The aging of the baby boomers will bring about new challenges for the safety of older drivers. We propose to test whether five weeks of a cognitive training intervention improves measures of cognition, complex motor control, and performance in a driving simulator task for both young and older adults. We have recently shown that a particular type of cognitive training shows transfer benefits to untrained tasks. Moreover, our work and that of others demonstrates that the interdependence between the cognitive and motor systems increases with age. Thus, it may be that cognitive training benefits will also transfer to the control of complex motor skill for older adults. Identifying an intervention which allows older adults to extend their safe driving years would have immense societal benefits. Moreover, it is of theoretical interest to determine whether cognitive training improvements transfer to tasks that are both "near to" and "far from" the training task, because it would provide insight into which aspects of cognition are malleable with practice.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Center for Advancing Safe Transportation Throughout the Lifespan

    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    Ann Arbor, MI  United States  48109-2150
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

    Division of Kinesiology
    401 Washtenaw Avenue, 4745D CCRB
    Ann Arbor, MI  United States  48109-2214
  • Principal Investigators:

    Seidler, Rachael

  • Start Date: 20080915
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20091231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 20063

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01462430
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Advancing Safe Transportation Throughout the Lifespan
  • Contract Numbers: F021555
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:03PM