Friday, September 29, 2006

Cell Phone Risk

The problem with cell phone use and driving problem is cognitive, not psychomotor ...

"Sealing a business deal, talking with your friends, making plans, checking messages ... Just how dangerous is driving and talking on a cell phone? New research that proves driving and dialing don't mix.

Everywhere you look -- to your right, your left, at a light and speeding down the highway -- everyone's chatting on a cell phone. And if you're like Chris Rowe, you'll admit you sometimes concentrate more on the conversation than what's happening in front of you. "It distracts me from paying attention to other cars on the road," he admits.

Mixing mobile phones and motoring is a dangerous combination. But why can't we safely talk and drive at the same time? New research shows the reason is inside our brain.

"When we do talk and do some other task, it's very clear to us that your brain is not fully doing both processes at the same time," Paul Atchley, Ph.D., a cognitive psychologist at University of Kansas in Lawrence, tells Ivanhoe.

Psychologists at the University of Kansas found the part of the brain that controls vision becomes less active when people focus on something visually while having a conversation.

Dr. Atchley says, "Even though their eyes are open, they're missing things that are in the visual world that might be critical for them, for example a car coming into an intersection."    (Continued via Neuroscience)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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