Prediction of driving ability with neuropsychological tests: Demographic adjustments diminish accuracy

Joseph Barrash, Ashley Stillman, Steven W. Anderson, Ergun Y. Uc, Jeffrey D. Dawson, Matthew Rizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


Demographically adjusted norms generally enhance accuracy of inferences based on neuropsychological assessment. However, we hypothesized that demographic corrections diminish predictive accuracy for real-world activities with absolute cognitive demands. Driving ability was assessed with a 45-minute drive along a standardized on-road route in participants aged 65+ (24 healthy elderly, 26 probable Alzheimers disease, 33 Parkinsons disease). Neuropsychological measures included: Trail-Making A and B, Complex Figure, Benton Visual Retention, and Block Design tests. A multiple regression model with raw neuropsychological scores was significantly predictive of driving errors (R2 =.199, p =.005); a model with demographically adjusted scores was not (R2 =.113, p =.107). Raw scores were more highly correlated with driving errors than were adjusted scores for each neuropsychological measure, and among healthy elderly and Parkinsons patients. When predicting real-world activities that depend on absolute levels of cognitive abilities regardless of demographic considerations, predictive accuracy is diminished by demographic corrections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-686
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Age factors
  • Aged
  • Alzheimers disease
  • Automobile driving
  • Geriatric assessment
  • Parkinsons disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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