The Better Driving Study



Researchers at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and The University of New South Wales are seeking older adults as research volunteers to trial driving interventions to improve driving in later life.

This study will be suited to you if:

  • You are aged over 65
  • have a current drivers license and drive regularly
  • plan to keep driving

What would happen if I took part in the research project?

The study will run for 24 months and if you decide to take part you would:

  • Have your vision, memory and reactions tested at NeuRA and have an on the road driving test through a pre-determined route. Follow up assessments will occur at 3, 12 and 24 months.
  • Be randomly allocated to one of three driving skills refresher programs: 1) classroom education 2) classroom education and tailored feedback and action planning on your driving skills 3) classroom education, tailored feedback and action planning on your driving skills and 2 on the road driving lessons with a trained instructor
  • Keep monthly driving diaries

No impact on license – research only

Expression of Interest

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If you would like more information or are interested in being part of the study please contact


Phone: 02 9399 1134

See what’s going on at NeuRA


Cortical activity during balance tasks in ageing and clinical groups using functional near-infrared spectroscopy

Prof Stephen Lord, Dr Jasmine Menant Walking is not automatic and requires attention and brain processing to maintain balance and prevent falling over. Brain structure and function deteriorate with ageing and neurodegenerative disorders, in turn impacting both cognitive and motor functions.   This series of studies will investigate: How do age and/or disease- associated declines in cognitive functions affect balance control? How is this further impacted by psychological, physiological and medical factors (eg. fear, pain, medications)? How does the brain control these balance tasks?     Approach The experiments involve experimental paradigms that challenge cognitive functions of interest (eg.visuo-spatial working memory, inhibitory function). I use functional near-infrared spectroscopy to study activation in superficial cortical regions of interest (eg. prefrontal cortex, supplementary motor area…). The studies involve young and older people as well as clinical groups (eg.Parkinson’s disease).   Studies Cortical activity during stepping and gait adaptability tasks Effects of age, posture and task condition on cortical activity during reaction time tasks Influence of balance challenge and concern about falling on brain activity during walking Influence of lower limb pain/discomfort on brain activity during stepping   This research will greatly improve our understanding of the interactions between brain capacity, functions and balance control across ageing and diseases, psychological, physiological and medical factors, allows to identify targets for rehabilitation. It will also help identifying whether exercise-based interventions improve neural efficiency for enhanced balance control.