An Eye-Tracking Study of Receptive Verb Knowledge in Toddlers Purpose We examined receptive verb knowledge in 22- to 24-month-old toddlers with a dynamic video eye-tracking test. The primary goal of the study was to examine the utility of eye-gaze measures that are commonly used to study noun knowledge for studying verb knowledge. Method Forty typically developing toddlers ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 10, 2018
An Eye-Tracking Study of Receptive Verb Knowledge in Toddlers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Matthew James Valleau
    Department of Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences, Boston University, MA
  • Haruka Konishi
    Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • Roberta Michnick Golinkoff
    University of Delaware School of Education, Newark
  • Kathy Hirsh-Pasek
    Department of Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Sudha Arunachalam
    Department of Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences, Boston University, MA
  • 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 Sudha Arunachalam: sarunach@bu.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond
    Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond×
  • Editor: Lizbeth Finestack
    Editor: Lizbeth Finestack×
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 10, 2018
An Eye-Tracking Study of Receptive Verb Knowledge in Toddlers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2018, Vol. 61, 2917-2933. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0363
History: Received September 23, 2017 , Revised February 1, 2018 , Accepted June 12, 2018
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2018, Vol. 61, 2917-2933. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0363
History: Received September 23, 2017; Revised February 1, 2018; Accepted June 12, 2018

Purpose We examined receptive verb knowledge in 22- to 24-month-old toddlers with a dynamic video eye-tracking test. The primary goal of the study was to examine the utility of eye-gaze measures that are commonly used to study noun knowledge for studying verb knowledge.

Method Forty typically developing toddlers participated. They viewed 2 videos side by side (e.g., girl clapping, same girl stretching) and were asked to find one of them (e.g., “Where is she clapping?”). Their eye-gaze, recorded by a Tobii T60XL eye-tracking system, was analyzed as a measure of their knowledge of the verb meanings. Noun trials were included as controls. We examined correlations between eye-gaze measures and score on the MacArthur–Bates Communicative Development Inventories (CDI; Fenson et al., 1994), a standard parent report measure of expressive vocabulary to see how well various eye-gaze measures predicted CDI score.

Results A common measure of knowledge—a 15% increase in looking time to the target video from a baseline phase to the test phase—did correlate with CDI score but operationalized differently for verbs than for nouns. A 2nd common measure, latency of 1st look to the target, correlated with CDI score for nouns, as in previous work, but did not for verbs. A 3rd measure, fixation density, correlated for both nouns and verbs, although the correlation went in different directions.

Conclusions The dynamic nature of videos depicting verb knowledge results in differences in eye-gaze as compared to static images depicting nouns. An eye-tracking assessment of verb knowledge is worthwhile to develop. However, the particular dependent measures used may be different than those used for static images and nouns.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institutes of Health K01DC013306 and a 2015 New Century Scholars Research Grant from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation to Sudha Arunachalam and Institute of Education Sciences Grants R305A110284 and R324A160241 to Roberta Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, respectively. We are grateful to the families who participated in this study; to members of the Boston University Child Language Lab, especially Leah Sheline, Shaun Dennis, Jessica Brough, and Sung Ju Hong; and to members of the University of Delaware Infant Language Project, especially Aimee Stahl. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
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