Spike-triggered reaction-time EEG as a possible assessment tool for driving ability

Krestel, Heinz E; Nirkko, Arto; von Allmen, Andreas; Liechti, Christian; Wettstein, Janine; Mosbacher, Antoinette; Mathis, Johannes (2011). Spike-triggered reaction-time EEG as a possible assessment tool for driving ability. Epilepsia, 52(10), e126-9. Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2011.03252.x

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The impact of interictal epileptic activity (IEA) on driving is a rarely investigated issue. We analyzed the impact of IEA on reaction time in a pilot study. Reactions to simple visual stimuli (light flash) in the Flash test or complex visual stimuli (obstacle on a road) in a modified car driving computer game, the Steer Clear, were measured during IEA bursts and unremarkable electroencephalography (EEG) periods. Individual epilepsy patients showed slower reaction times (RTs) during generalized IEA compared to RTs during unremarkable EEG periods. RT differences were approximately 300 ms (p < 0.001) in the Flash test and approximately 200 ms (p < 0.001) in the Steer Clear. Prior work suggested that RT differences >100 ms may become clinically relevant. This occurred in 40% of patients in the Flash test and in up to 50% in the Steer Clear. When RT were pooled, mean RT differences were 157 ms in the Flash test (p < 0.0001) and 116 ms in the Steer Clear (p < 0.0001). Generalized IEA of short duration seems to impair brain function, that is, the ability to react. The reaction-time EEG could be used routinely to assess driving ability.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Krestel, Heinz Eric, Nirkko, Arto Christian, Mathis, Johannes








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:26

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:21

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Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/9467 (FactScience: 215205)

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