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Investigating Driver Brain Activity, Behavior, and Performance

In collaboration with the Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research, we are imaging the neural activity of drivers under different driving conditions, and while interacting with the advanced safety systems designed and developed by the DDL. Current research uses the techniques of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), to investigate the neural activity underlying driver behavior, and to measure the mental workload drivers experience under different conditions. Our systematic research program takes drivers from basic, computer-based motor-control tasks, to more sophisticated driving simulator studies, and all the way to on-the-road experiments using our test vehicles, to fully describe and understand the brain regions and circuits that are involved in driving, and the neural correlates of safe driving performance. We are particularly interested in how drivers adapt to different driving conditions, how best to communicate information between the vehicle and the driver, and how we can use our knowledge of driver's brain activity to support safe driving behavior.