Senior Research Fellow at Swinburne's Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Dr Amie Hayley, has been awarded a four-year Al and Val Rosenstrauss Fellowship to further her research into how chronic methamphetamine use affects driving skills and performance.
Dr Hayley will investigate how long-term use of methamphetamines affects driving to optimise the development of technologies designed to detect and monitor driver state in real time.
This work will advance understanding of how ocular-based technologies can be used to detect and monitor driver impairment during different phases of methamphetamine use. It will also directly contribute to the co-development of novel driver-state monitoring systems to detect methamphetamine-affected drivers in real time.
Dr Hayley’s work examines the neural, biological and clinical factors that underlie harm associated with psychoactive substance usage and aims to identify mechanisms by which these changes translate to dangerous human behaviour.
Through her experimental work at Swinburne’s Drugs and Driving Research Unit, Dr Hayley has developed a framework to support the use of ocular metrics to index driving impairment when someone is acutely intoxicated by methamphetamine.
“Driving a car is a complex task that requires a driver to be attentive, competent and capable,” Dr Hayley says.
“Despite national initiatives in Australia to reduce the impact of drug-impaired driving – such as roadside drug testing – amphetamine is now the most commonly detected illicit drug among drivers who are injured or killed due to road trauma.”
“This fellowship will allow me to develop the capabilities of vehicle-based and wearable eye-monitoring technologies to help reduce the burden of drug-affected driving.”
Dr Hayley has quantified the scope and impact of dangerous driving practices associated with methamphetamine use and identified eye-tracking technology as a novel means to monitor and index driver impairment when someone is acutely impaired by methamphetamine. She hopes to further develop impairment standards for other common drugs, thereby helping to reduce the global impact of road trauma due to psychoactive substance usage.
Dr Hayley was also awarded the 2020 Vice-Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award (Early Career).
Al and Val Rosenstrauss Fellowship
This prestigious award is named in honour of the late Al Rosenstrauss OAM and his wife, Val, for their contribution to the work of The Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation over more than 28 years. The fellowship is targeted at rising stars who are between three and 10 years post-doctoral and who are building credentials for a long and successful career in research. Fellowship recipients receive $100,000 per year for four years.