Task Difficulty Differentially Affects Two Measures of Processing Load: The Pupil Response During Sentence Processing and Delayed Cued Recall of the Sentences PurposeIn this study, the authors assessed the influence of masking level (29% or 71% sentence perception) and test modality on the processing load during language perception as reflected by the pupil response. In addition, the authors administered a delayed cued stimulus recall test to examine whether processing load affected the ... Article
Article  |   August 01, 2013
Task Difficulty Differentially Affects Two Measures of Processing Load: The Pupil Response During Sentence Processing and Delayed Cued Recall of the Sentences
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Adriana A. Zekveld
    The EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Joost M. Festen
    The EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Sophia E. Kramer
    The EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Correspondence to Adriana A. Zekveld: aa.zekveld@vumc.nl
  • Editor: Craig Champlin
    Editor: Craig Champlin×
  • Associate Editor: Brent Edwards
    Associate Editor: Brent Edwards×
Article Information
Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing
Article   |   August 01, 2013
Task Difficulty Differentially Affects Two Measures of Processing Load: The Pupil Response During Sentence Processing and Delayed Cued Recall of the Sentences
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2013, Vol. 56, 1156-1165. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0058)
History: Received February 13, 2012 , Revised July 19, 2012 , Accepted December 24, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2013, Vol. 56, 1156-1165. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0058)
History: Received February 13, 2012; Revised July 19, 2012; Accepted December 24, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9

PurposeIn this study, the authors assessed the influence of masking level (29% or 71% sentence perception) and test modality on the processing load during language perception as reflected by the pupil response. In addition, the authors administered a delayed cued stimulus recall test to examine whether processing load affected the encoding of the stimuli in memory.

MethodParticipants performed speech and text reception threshold tests, during which the pupil response was measured. In the cued recall test, the first half of correctly perceived sentences was presented, and participants were asked to complete the sentences. Reading and listening span tests of working memory capacity were presented as well.

ResultsRegardless of test modality, the pupil response indicated higher processing load in the 29% condition than in the 71% correct condition. Cued recall was better for the 29% condition.

ConclusionsThe consistent effect of masking level on the pupil response during listening and reading support the validity of the pupil response as a measure of processing load during language perception. The absent relation between pupil response and cued recall may suggest that cued recall is not directly related to processing load, as reflected by the pupil response.

Acknowledgments
The first author was supported by a grant from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Veni 451-10-031). We thank J. H. M. van Beek for his technical assistance in the development of the test and data-analysis software.
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