A Comparison of the Visual Attention Patterns of People With Aphasia and Adults Without Neurological Conditions for Camera-Engaged and Task-Engaged Visual Scenes Purpose The purpose of the study was to compare the visual attention patterns of adults with aphasia and adults without neurological conditions when viewing visual scenes with 2 types of engagement. Method Eye-tracking technology was used to measure the visual attention patterns of 10 adults with aphasia and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2016
A Comparison of the Visual Attention Patterns of People With Aphasia and Adults Without Neurological Conditions for Camera-Engaged and Task-Engaged Visual Scenes
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Amber Thiessen
    University of Houston
  • David Beukelman
    University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  • Karen Hux
    University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  • Maria Longenecker
    University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Amber Thiessen: althiess@central.uh.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Jessica Richardson
    Associate Editor: Jessica Richardson×
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2016
A Comparison of the Visual Attention Patterns of People With Aphasia and Adults Without Neurological Conditions for Camera-Engaged and Task-Engaged Visual Scenes
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2016, Vol. 59, 290-301. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0115
History: Received May 2, 2014 , Revised October 20, 2014 , Accepted August 9, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2016, Vol. 59, 290-301. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0115
History: Received May 2, 2014; Revised October 20, 2014; Accepted August 9, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The purpose of the study was to compare the visual attention patterns of adults with aphasia and adults without neurological conditions when viewing visual scenes with 2 types of engagement.

Method Eye-tracking technology was used to measure the visual attention patterns of 10 adults with aphasia and 10 adults without neurological conditions. Participants viewed camera-engaged (i.e., human figure facing camera) and task-engaged (i.e., human figure looking at and touching an object) visual scenes.

Results Participants with aphasia responded to engagement cues by focusing on objects of interest more for task-engaged scenes than camera-engaged scenes; however, the difference in their responses to these scenes were not as pronounced as those observed in adults without neurological conditions. In addition, people with aphasia spent more time looking at background areas of interest and less time looking at person areas of interest for camera-engaged scenes than did control participants.

Conclusions Results indicate people with aphasia visually attend to scenes differently than adults without neurological conditions. As a consequence, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) facilitators may have different visual attention behaviors than the people with aphasia for whom they are constructing or selecting visual scenes. Further examination of the visual attention of people with aphasia may help optimize visual scene selection.

Acknowledgments
This project was supported in part by the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Communication Enhancement (AAC-RERC) under Grants H133E080011 and H133E140026 from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) in the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). The project was also supported in part by Tobii Technologies. The authors wish to thank the residents and the staff at Quality Living, Inc. in Omaha, NE, for their participation in the research activities. The authors report no conflicts of interest and are solely responsible for the content and writing of the article.
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