Friday, October 30, 2009

Bad driving may be genetically spurred

Updated on : Friday, October 30, 2009

NEW YORK: Scientists in America found people with a particular fault in their genetic make-up performed 20 per cent worse in driving skills tests than those without.

Three in ten people may carry the affected gene, a team from University of California Irvine said.

The study is published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

The gene fault affects production of a protein that helps keep memory strong and may be linked to co-ordination. People with the variant also don't recover as well after a stroke.

A driving test was taken by 29 people -- 22 without the gene variant and seven with it.

They were asked to drive 15 laps on a simulator that required them to learn the nuances of a track programmed to have difficult curves and turns. Researchers recorded how well they stayed on the course over time. Four days later, the test was repeated.

Results showed that people with the variant did worse on both tests than the other participants, and they remembered less the second time.

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