Measuring the Useful Field of View during Simulated Driving with Gaze-Contingent Displays

John G. Gaspar, Nathan Ward, Mark B. Neider, James Crowell, Ronald Carbonari, Henry Kaczmarski, Ryan V. Ringer, Aaron P. Johnson, Arthur F. Kramer, Lester C. Loschky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We aimed to develop and test a new dynamic measure of transient changes to the useful field of view (UFOV), utilizing a gaze-contingent paradigm for use in realistic simulated environments. Background: The UFOV, the area from which an observer can extract visual information during a single fixation, has been correlated with driving performance and crash risk. However, some existing measures of the UFOV cannot be used dynamically in realistic simulators, and other UFOV measures involve constant stimuli at fixed locations. We propose a gaze-contingent UFOV measure (the GC-UFOV) that solves the above problems. Methods: Twenty-five participants completed four simulated drives while they concurrently performed an occasional gaze-contingent Gabor orientation discrimination task. Gabors appeared randomly at one of three retinal eccentricities (5°, 10°, or 15°). Cognitive workload was manipulated both with a concurrent auditory working memory task and with driving task difficulty (via presence/absence of lateral wind). Results: Cognitive workload had a detrimental effect on Gabor discrimination accuracy at all three retinal eccentricities. Interestingly, this accuracy cost was equivalent across eccentricities, consistent with previous findings of €general interference€ rather than €tunnel vision.€ Conclusion: The results showed that the GC-UFOV method was able to measure transient changes in UFOV due to cognitive load in a realistic simulated environment. Application: The GC-UFOV paradigm developed and tested in this study is a novel and effective tool for studying transient changes in the UFOV due to cognitive load in the context of complex real-world tasks such as simulated driving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-641
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2016


  • driver distraction
  • gaze-contingent displays
  • useful field of view (UFOV)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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