Cognitively Demanding Object Negotiation While Walking and Texting

Preeti Chopra, Darla M. Castelli, Jonathan Dingwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cell phone related pedestrian injuries are increasing, but the underlying causes remain unclear. Here, we studied how cell phone use directly affected obstacle avoidance ability. Thirty healthy adults participated. Cognitive capacity was quantified using standard tests. Participants walked on a treadmill in a virtual reality environment with and without performing a texting-like cell phone task. Participants also navigated either ‘no’, ‘simple’ or ‘complex’ object negotiation tasks that directly manipulated the cognitive complexity of this object negotiation task. Cell phone use led to more collisions, delayed responses, and increased variability of responses when navigating objects. Mean object avoidance responses were further delayed for the cognitively more complex object negotiation task. Individuals’ baseline attentional capacity inversely predicted the number of object collisions when participants used the cell phone. Individuals with higher cognitive flexibility (i.e., better ability to switch between tasks) performed better on the cell phone task when they had to negotiate obstacles. Importantly, cognitive ability predicted performance only when both tasks (texting and negotiating objects) were being performed. Thus, using a cell phone while walking introduces a visual distraction that impairs healthy adults’ ability to respond to cognitively demanding object negotiation tasks in their environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17880
JournalScientific reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Fingerprint

Text Messaging
Cell Phones
Negotiating
Walking
Aptitude
Wounds and Injuries

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

@article{52a70ed85de0441c8ed5664652096952,
title = "Cognitively Demanding Object Negotiation While Walking and Texting",
abstract = "Cell phone related pedestrian injuries are increasing, but the underlying causes remain unclear. Here, we studied how cell phone use directly affected obstacle avoidance ability. Thirty healthy adults participated. Cognitive capacity was quantified using standard tests. Participants walked on a treadmill in a virtual reality environment with and without performing a texting-like cell phone task. Participants also navigated either ‘no’, ‘simple’ or ‘complex’ object negotiation tasks that directly manipulated the cognitive complexity of this object negotiation task. Cell phone use led to more collisions, delayed responses, and increased variability of responses when navigating objects. Mean object avoidance responses were further delayed for the cognitively more complex object negotiation task. Individuals’ baseline attentional capacity inversely predicted the number of object collisions when participants used the cell phone. Individuals with higher cognitive flexibility (i.e., better ability to switch between tasks) performed better on the cell phone task when they had to negotiate obstacles. Importantly, cognitive ability predicted performance only when both tasks (texting and negotiating objects) were being performed. Thus, using a cell phone while walking introduces a visual distraction that impairs healthy adults’ ability to respond to cognitively demanding object negotiation tasks in their environment.",
author = "Preeti Chopra and Castelli, {Darla M.} and Jonathan Dingwell",
year = "2018",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1038/s41598-018-36230-5",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "8",
journal = "Scientific Reports",
issn = "2045-2322",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "1",

}

Cognitively Demanding Object Negotiation While Walking and Texting. / Chopra, Preeti; Castelli, Darla M.; Dingwell, Jonathan.

In: Scientific reports, Vol. 8, No. 1, 17880, 01.12.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cognitively Demanding Object Negotiation While Walking and Texting

AU - Chopra, Preeti

AU - Castelli, Darla M.

AU - Dingwell, Jonathan

PY - 2018/12/1

Y1 - 2018/12/1

N2 - Cell phone related pedestrian injuries are increasing, but the underlying causes remain unclear. Here, we studied how cell phone use directly affected obstacle avoidance ability. Thirty healthy adults participated. Cognitive capacity was quantified using standard tests. Participants walked on a treadmill in a virtual reality environment with and without performing a texting-like cell phone task. Participants also navigated either ‘no’, ‘simple’ or ‘complex’ object negotiation tasks that directly manipulated the cognitive complexity of this object negotiation task. Cell phone use led to more collisions, delayed responses, and increased variability of responses when navigating objects. Mean object avoidance responses were further delayed for the cognitively more complex object negotiation task. Individuals’ baseline attentional capacity inversely predicted the number of object collisions when participants used the cell phone. Individuals with higher cognitive flexibility (i.e., better ability to switch between tasks) performed better on the cell phone task when they had to negotiate obstacles. Importantly, cognitive ability predicted performance only when both tasks (texting and negotiating objects) were being performed. Thus, using a cell phone while walking introduces a visual distraction that impairs healthy adults’ ability to respond to cognitively demanding object negotiation tasks in their environment.

AB - Cell phone related pedestrian injuries are increasing, but the underlying causes remain unclear. Here, we studied how cell phone use directly affected obstacle avoidance ability. Thirty healthy adults participated. Cognitive capacity was quantified using standard tests. Participants walked on a treadmill in a virtual reality environment with and without performing a texting-like cell phone task. Participants also navigated either ‘no’, ‘simple’ or ‘complex’ object negotiation tasks that directly manipulated the cognitive complexity of this object negotiation task. Cell phone use led to more collisions, delayed responses, and increased variability of responses when navigating objects. Mean object avoidance responses were further delayed for the cognitively more complex object negotiation task. Individuals’ baseline attentional capacity inversely predicted the number of object collisions when participants used the cell phone. Individuals with higher cognitive flexibility (i.e., better ability to switch between tasks) performed better on the cell phone task when they had to negotiate obstacles. Importantly, cognitive ability predicted performance only when both tasks (texting and negotiating objects) were being performed. Thus, using a cell phone while walking introduces a visual distraction that impairs healthy adults’ ability to respond to cognitively demanding object negotiation tasks in their environment.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85058643437&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85058643437&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/s41598-018-36230-5

DO - 10.1038/s41598-018-36230-5

M3 - Article

C2 - 30552394

AN - SCOPUS:85058643437

VL - 8

JO - Scientific Reports

JF - Scientific Reports

SN - 2045-2322

IS - 1

M1 - 17880

ER -