Driving and perceptual/cognitive skills: behavioral consequences of brain damage

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1981 Oct;62(10):476-83.


This study investigated the effects of brain damage on perceptual/cognitive skills and driving. The subjects included 23 persons with brain damage, 18 persons with spinal-cord damage, and 10 able-bodied persons. Each subject was evaluated using a battery of perceptual and cognitive tests, a set of driving tasks in a parking lot, and actual in-traffic driving over a fixed route. The results indicate that (1) while persons with brain damage, as a group, exhibited impaired perceptual/cognitive skills and also impaired driving, those who scored well on certain perceptual/cognitive tests tended to show good driving performance as well, (2) different perceptual/cognitive tests are good predictors of driving performance by persons with and without brain damage, and (3) the driving problems exhibited by some of the persons with brain damage likely result, in part, from the deficits in their perceptual and cognitive skills.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Cognition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Skills
  • Perception*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology