The neural correlates of an expanded functional field of view

J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2007 Jun;62 Spec No 1:32-44. doi: 10.1093/geronb/62.special_issue_1.32.


The size of the functional field of view (FFOV) predicts driving safety in older adults ( Owsley et al., 1998), and practice-related changes in the FFOV may transfer to driving safety ( Roenker, Cissell, Ball, Wadley, & Edwards, 2003). We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and behavioral measures to examine how practice with the FFOV task changes older adults' attentional function. Behavioral data collected outside of the MRI revealed that participants in the training group showed larger improvements across conditions than did those in the control group. fMRI data revealed training-related changes in activation in a number of brain regions. In the right precentral gyrus and right inferior frontal gyrus, increases in activation between fMRI sessions correlated positively with increases in accuracy between behavioral sessions. Practice with the FFOV task improves older adults' attentional function by increasing their recruitment of regions traditionally associated with orienting visual attention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Automobile Driving / psychology
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Practice, Psychological*
  • Visual Fields / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*