An investigation of left/right driving rules on deviations while walking

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Thomas, Nicole A
Churches, Owen
White, Ian
Mohr, Christine
Schrag, Yann
Obucina, Sabrina
Nicholls, Michael Elmo Richard
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Public Library of Science
When traversing through an aperture, such as a doorway, people characteristically deviate towards the right. This rightward deviation can be explained by a rightward attentional bias which leads to rightward bisections in far space. It is also possible, however, that left or right driving practices affect the deviation. To explore this possibility, Australian (left-side drivers) and Swiss (right-side drivers) participants (n = 36 & 34) walked through the middle of an aperture. To control for the sway of the body, participants started with either their left or right foot. Sway had a significant effect on participants’ position in the doorway and the amount of sway was greater for Australians—perhaps due to national differences in gait. There was a significant rightward deviation for the Swiss, but not for the Australians. It is suggested that driving practices have a small additive effect on rightward attentional biases whereby the bias is increased for people who drive on the right and reduced in people who drive on the left.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Walking, Gait, Driving, Side of the road
Thomas NA, Churches O, White I, Mohr C, Schrag Y, Obucina S, et al. (2017) An investigation of left/right driving rules on deviations while walking. PLoS ONE 12(10): e0186171.