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Effects of sleep deprivation and hazard types on the hazard perception of young novice drivers: An ERP study.

Neuroscience Letters 2024 March 22
OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed to explore the effects of sleep deprivation on young novice drivers' cognitive neural processing of different hazard types.

METHOD: A 2 (sleep deprivation group, control group) × 3 (no hazard, covert hazard, overt hazard) mixed experimental design was used. Twenty-eight young drivers were sleep-deprived (no sleep within the past 24 h), while 28 drivers were in the control group (maintaining a normal schedule throughout the week). Eighty pictures containing a covert hazard (20 pictures), overt hazard (20 pictures) and no hazard (40 pictures) were presented. Participants were asked to press the keyboard quickly if they detected a hazard situation. The reaction time, accuracy, and changes in the N1 (100-150 ms) and N2 (250-350 ms) components of event-related potentials (ERP) measured using electroencephalography (EEG) were obtained.

RESULTS: Compared to the control group, the response accuracy of sleep-deprived drivers was higher in the cover-hazard situation and their N1 latency was longer in the no-hazard situation. Compared to the no-hazard and overt-hazard situations, the participants' reaction times and N2 amplitudes were significantly greater, and the response accuracy was significantly lower in the covert-hazard situation.

CONCLUSION: Hazard perception is compromised when drivers are sleep-deprived, especially when they are confronted with covert hazard situations. The findings help understand the negative effects of sleep deprivation in the early stage of young novice drivers' hazard perception.

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