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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 159621, 10 pages
Research Article

Impact of External Cue Validity on Driving Performance in Parkinson's Disease

1Experimental Neuropsychology Research Unit, School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Clayton Campus, VIC 3800, Australia
2Monash Accident Research Centre, Monash University, Clayton Campus, VIC 3800, Australia
3Clinical Research Centre for Movement Disorders and Gait, Kingston Centre, Warrigal Road, Cheltenham, VIC 3192, Australia
4School of Psychology, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia

Received 15 November 2010; Accepted 27 March 2011

Academic Editor: Irena Rektorova

Copyright © 2011 Karen Scally et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study sought to investigate the impact of external cue validity on simulated driving performance in 19 Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and 19 healthy age-matched controls. Braking points and distance between deceleration point and braking point were analysed for red traffic signals preceded either by Valid Cues (correctly predicting signal), Invalid Cues (incorrectly predicting signal), and No Cues. Results showed that PD drivers braked significantly later and travelled significantly further between deceleration and braking points compared with controls for Invalid and No-Cue conditions. No significant group differences were observed for driving performance in response to Valid Cues. The benefit of Valid Cues relative to Invalid Cues and No Cues was significantly greater for PD drivers compared with controls. Trail Making Test (B-A) scores correlated with driving performance for PDs only. These results highlight the importance of external cues and higher cognitive functioning for driving performance in mild to moderate PD.