Watch out for the hazard! Blurring peripheral vision facilitates hazard perception in driving

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The objectives of this paper were to directly examine the roles of central and peripheral vision in hazard perception and to test whether perceptual training can enhance hazard perception. We also examined putative cortical mechanisms underpinning any effect of perceptual training on performance. To address these objectives, we used the gaze-contingent display paradigm to selectively present information to central and peripheral parts of the visual field. In Experiment 1, we compared hazard perception abilities of experienced and inexperienced drivers while watching video clips in three different viewing conditions (full vision; clear central and blurred peripheral vision; blurred central and clear peripheral vision). Participants’ visual search behaviour and cortical activity were simultaneously recorded. In Experiment 2, we determined whether training with clear central and blurred peripheral vision could improve hazard perception among non-licensed drivers. Results demonstrated that (i) information from central vision is more important than information from peripheral vision in identifying hazard situations, for screen-based hazard perception tests, (ii) clear central and blurred peripheral vision viewing helps the alignment of line-of-gaze and attention, (iii) training with clear central and blurred peripheral vision can improve screen-based hazard perception. The findings have important implications for road safety and provide a new training paradigm to improve hazard perception.


  • gaze-contingent display, hazard perception, attention, central vision, peripheral vision
Original languageEnglish
Article number105755
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Early online date11 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

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