The neural correlates of driving performance identified using positron emission tomography

Etsuo Horikawa, Nobuyuki Okamura, Manabu Tashiro, Yumiko Sakurada, Masahiro Maruyama, Hiroyuki Arai, Keiichiro Yamaguchi, Hidetada Sasaki, Kazuhiko Yanai, Masatoshi Itoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Driving is a complex behavior involving multiple cognitive domains. To identify neural correlates of driving performance, [15O]H 2O positron emission tomography was performed using a simulated driving task. Compared with the resting condition, simulated driving increased regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the cerebellum, occipital, and parietal cortices. Correlations between rCBF and measurements of driving performance were evaluated during simulated driving. Interestingly, rCBF in the thalamus, midbrain, and cerebellum were positively correlated with time required to complete the course and rCBF in the posterior cingulate gyrus was positively correlated with number of crashes during the task. These brain regions may thus play roles in the maintenance of driving performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-171
Number of pages6
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jul


  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Cingulate gyrus
  • Driving
  • Midbrain
  • Performance
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Thalamus


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