Parkinson’s disease affects gaze behavior and performance of drivers

Gisele C. Gotardi, Fabio A. Barbieri, Rafael O. Simão, Vinicius A. Pereira, André M. Baptista, Luiz F. Imaizumi, Gabriel Moretto, Martina Navarro, Paula F. Polastri, Sérgio T. Rodrigues

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The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of PD and aging on gaze behavior and performance of drivers in a simulated task. Ten drivers with PD, ten neurologically healthy older drivers, and ten neurologically healthy younger adult drivers were asked to drive in a car simulator for three minutes, maintaining car speed between 100 and 120 km/h and avoiding collisions. Driver’s eye movements were recorded. Drivers with PD had more collisions and spent less time driving within the speed zone than the younger-drivers. Drivers with PD performed an increased number of fixations towards task-irrelevant areas of the visual scene and higher visual entropy, indicating a more random gaze behavior. Older drivers restricted their visual search to the lane area in order to detect threat-related stimuli. PD led to drops in performance of drivers in the car simulator.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) and aging process caused a drop in driving performance. Drivers with PD made fewer fixations on task-relevant information and showed higher visual entropy than young adults. Older drivers restricted their visual search to the lane than other areas of interest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1302-1311
Number of pages10
Issue number9
Early online date24 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


  • Parkinson's disease
  • aging
  • visual entropy
  • eye movements
  • driving simulator


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