More Than the Verbal Stimulus Matters: Visual Attention in Language Assessment for People With Aphasia Using Multiple-Choice Image Displays Purpose Language comprehension in people with aphasia (PWA) is frequently evaluated using multiple-choice displays: PWA are asked to choose the image that best corresponds to the verbal stimulus in a display. When a nontarget image is selected, comprehension failure is assumed. However, stimulus-driven factors unrelated to linguistic comprehension may influence ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 24, 2017
More Than the Verbal Stimulus Matters: Visual Attention in Language Assessment for People With Aphasia Using Multiple-Choice Image Displays
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sabine Heuer
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
  • Maria V. Ivanova
    National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
  • Brooke Hallowell
    School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences, Ohio University, Athens
  • 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 Sabine Heuer: heuer@uwm.edu
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Laura Murray
    Associate Editor: Laura Murray×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 24, 2017
More Than the Verbal Stimulus Matters: Visual Attention in Language Assessment for People With Aphasia Using Multiple-Choice Image Displays
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, May 2017, Vol. 60, 1348-1361. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0087
History: Received March 3, 2016 , Revised September 2, 2016 , Accepted January 11, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, May 2017, Vol. 60, 1348-1361. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0087
History: Received March 3, 2016; Revised September 2, 2016; Accepted January 11, 2017

Purpose Language comprehension in people with aphasia (PWA) is frequently evaluated using multiple-choice displays: PWA are asked to choose the image that best corresponds to the verbal stimulus in a display. When a nontarget image is selected, comprehension failure is assumed. However, stimulus-driven factors unrelated to linguistic comprehension may influence performance. In this study we explore the influence of physical image characteristics of multiple-choice image displays on visual attention allocation by PWA.

Method Eye fixations of 41 PWA were recorded while they viewed 40 multiple-choice image sets presented with and without verbal stimuli. Within each display, 3 images (majority images) were the same and 1 (singleton image) differed in terms of 1 image characteristic. The mean proportion of fixation duration (PFD) allocated across majority images was compared against the PFD allocated to singleton images.

Results PWA allocated significantly greater PFD to the singleton than to the majority images in both nonverbal and verbal conditions. Those with greater severity of comprehension deficits allocated greater PFD to nontarget singleton images in the verbal condition.

Conclusion When using tasks that rely on multiple-choice displays and verbal stimuli, one cannot assume that verbal stimuli will override the effect of visual-stimulus characteristics.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported in part by the Ohio University School of Hearing, Speech and Language Sciences (graduate fellowships) and Ohio University College of Health and Human Services Student Research and Creative Activity Awards to Sabine Heuer and Maria V. Ivanova, and by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R43DC010079 and National Science Foundation Biomedical Engineering Research to Aid Persons with Disabilities Program Grant 0454456 awarded to Brooke Hallowell. The article was also prepared within the framework of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) and supported within the framework of a subsidy by the Russian Academic Excellence Project ‘5-100’ (Maria Ivanova). We extend our gratitude to Marina Emelianova and Victor Shklovsky from the Center for Speech Pathology and Neurorehabilitation, Moscow, Russia, for assistance with participant recruitment. We thank Hans Kruse for software design.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access