Influence of health status on mobility
Normal or pathological ageing, a change in health status, or a physical, sensory or neurological disability can all have an impact on mobility, whether driving, walking or using public transport. Identifying the influence of health status on mobility is fundamental to offering support aimed at reducing these difficulties. The aim is therefore to gain a better understanding of the impact of cognitive, motor or sensory deficits linked to age, disability or pathology on mobility activities. The aim is also to identify the compensatory mechanisms that are put in place over time to limit the effects of age, disability or illness. Cognitive functions, particularly executive functions, are being explored in greater depth, as they are particularly affected by physiological ageing and/or the onset of neurodegenerative disease. Individuals' awareness of their own abilities or difficulties (metacognition) is also taken into account, as this variable plays a major role in regulating mobility: a person who is aware of his or her own physical and cognitive limits will adapt his or her movements accordingly.
The research carried out in this area is carried out in close collaboration with healthcare professionals (neurologists, occupational therapists, neuropsychologists) and addresses the problems of assessing the driving ability of people with cerebral palsy or patients with neurocognitive disorders. The aim, for example, is to study the benefits of programmes to encourage people who have suffered a stroke to resume driving or, conversely, to help people with neuro-cognitive disorders to gradually stop driving. In a similar vein, the accessibility and acceptability of automated vehicles for the elderly raises new research questions that the laboratory is beginning to address.
In addition, research is focusing on preventing the risk of falls in the elderly, with or without age-related pathologies. The benefits of an intensive physical programme for people with Parkinson's disease are real and will be the subject of further research in the coming years. The laboratory is also interested in the consequences of a linguistic handicap, such as deafness or dyslexia, on the understanding of the transport environment, either in a station context to access passenger information broadcast orally, or in a context of learning the highway code. Dyslexia can be accompanied by attentional problems which, combined with written language disorders, interfere with driving and learning the highway code.