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Timing of gazes in child dialogues: a time-course analysis of requests and back channelling in referential communication.

Sandgren, Olof LU ; Andersson, Richard LU ; van de Weijer, Joost LU ; Hansson, Kristina LU and Sahlén, Birgitta LU (2012) In International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders 47(4). p.373-383
Abstract
Background:

This study investigates gaze behaviour in child dialogues. In earlier studies the authors have investigated the use of requests for clarification and responses in order to study the co-creation of understanding in a referential communication task. By adding eye tracking, this line of research is now expanded to include non-verbal contributions in conversation.



Aims:

To investigate the timing of gazes in face-to-face interaction and to relate the gaze behaviour to the use of requests for clarification.



Methods & Procedures:

Eight conversational pairs of typically developing 10-15 year olds participated. The pairs (director and executor) performed a... (More)
Background:

This study investigates gaze behaviour in child dialogues. In earlier studies the authors have investigated the use of requests for clarification and responses in order to study the co-creation of understanding in a referential communication task. By adding eye tracking, this line of research is now expanded to include non-verbal contributions in conversation.



Aims:

To investigate the timing of gazes in face-to-face interaction and to relate the gaze behaviour to the use of requests for clarification.



Methods & Procedures:

Eight conversational pairs of typically developing 10-15 year olds participated. The pairs (director and executor) performed a referential communication task requiring the description of faces. During the dialogues both participants wore head-mounted eye trackers. All gazes were recorded and categorized according to the area fixated (Task, Face, Off). The verbal context for all instances of gaze at the partner's face was identified and categorized using time-course analysis.



Outcomes & Results:

The results showed that the executor spends almost 90% of the time fixating the gaze on the task, 10% on the director's face and less than 0.5% elsewhere. Turn shift, primarily requests for clarification, and back channelling significantly predicted the executors' gaze to the face of the task director. The distribution of types of requests showed that requests for previously unmentioned information were significantly more likely to be associated with gaze at the director.



Conclusions & Implications:

The study shows that the executors' gaze at the director accompanies important dynamic shifts in the dialogue. The association with requests for clarification indicates that gaze at the director can be used to monitor the response with two modalities. Furthermore, the significantly higher association with requests for previously unmentioned information indicates that gaze may be used to emphasize the verbal content. The results will be used as a reference for studies of gaze behaviour in clinical populations with hearing and language impairments. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
* conversation * eye tracking * gaze * request for clarification * referential communication * time-course analysis
in
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders
volume
47
issue
4
pages
373 - 383
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • WOS:000306312200003
  • PMID:22788224
  • Scopus:84863837902
ISSN
1368-2822
DOI
10.1111/j.1460-6984.2012.00151.x
project
Cognition, Communication and Learning
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2beec925-dbe1-46b3-8b60-89b17f46060c (old id 2967205)
alternative location
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22788224?dopt=Abstract
date added to LUP
2012-08-09 19:02:19
date last changed
2016-10-23 04:30:22
@misc{2beec925-dbe1-46b3-8b60-89b17f46060c,
  abstract     = {Background: <br/><br>
This study investigates gaze behaviour in child dialogues. In earlier studies the authors have investigated the use of requests for clarification and responses in order to study the co-creation of understanding in a referential communication task. By adding eye tracking, this line of research is now expanded to include non-verbal contributions in conversation. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Aims: <br/><br>
To investigate the timing of gazes in face-to-face interaction and to relate the gaze behaviour to the use of requests for clarification. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Methods &amp; Procedures: <br/><br>
Eight conversational pairs of typically developing 10-15 year olds participated. The pairs (director and executor) performed a referential communication task requiring the description of faces. During the dialogues both participants wore head-mounted eye trackers. All gazes were recorded and categorized according to the area fixated (Task, Face, Off). The verbal context for all instances of gaze at the partner's face was identified and categorized using time-course analysis. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Outcomes &amp; Results: <br/><br>
The results showed that the executor spends almost 90% of the time fixating the gaze on the task, 10% on the director's face and less than 0.5% elsewhere. Turn shift, primarily requests for clarification, and back channelling significantly predicted the executors' gaze to the face of the task director. The distribution of types of requests showed that requests for previously unmentioned information were significantly more likely to be associated with gaze at the director. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Conclusions &amp; Implications: <br/><br>
The study shows that the executors' gaze at the director accompanies important dynamic shifts in the dialogue. The association with requests for clarification indicates that gaze at the director can be used to monitor the response with two modalities. Furthermore, the significantly higher association with requests for previously unmentioned information indicates that gaze may be used to emphasize the verbal content. The results will be used as a reference for studies of gaze behaviour in clinical populations with hearing and language impairments.},
  author       = {Sandgren, Olof and Andersson, Richard and van de Weijer, Joost and Hansson, Kristina and Sahlén, Birgitta},
  issn         = {1368-2822},
  keyword      = {* conversation * eye tracking * gaze * request for clarification * referential communication * time-course analysis},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {373--383},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xa879c98)},
  series       = {International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders},
  title        = {Timing of gazes in child dialogues: a time-course analysis of requests and back channelling in referential communication.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-6984.2012.00151.x},
  volume       = {47},
  year         = {2012},
}