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There's more to the picture than meets the ear - Gaze behavior during communication in children with hearing impairment

Sandgren, Olof LU (2013) In Lund University, Faculty of Medicine Doctoral Dissertation Series 2013:102.
Abstract
Many children and adolescents with hearing impairment struggle to meet school demands. The difficulties can be traced to the characteristics of the hearing impairment, and to adverse consequences on language development, often overlooked in diagnostics and intervention. This thesis investigates the communicative ability of children and adolescents with bilateral sensorineural hearing impairment by studying verbal and nonverbal interactions with normal hearing peers. The study uses a referential communication task requiring the speaker to make relevant descriptions, and the listener to use verbal and nonverbal means to resolve uncertainties. Analyses focus on verbal questions and answers (paper 1), nonverbal gaze behavior in relation to the... (More)
Many children and adolescents with hearing impairment struggle to meet school demands. The difficulties can be traced to the characteristics of the hearing impairment, and to adverse consequences on language development, often overlooked in diagnostics and intervention. This thesis investigates the communicative ability of children and adolescents with bilateral sensorineural hearing impairment by studying verbal and nonverbal interactions with normal hearing peers. The study uses a referential communication task requiring the speaker to make relevant descriptions, and the listener to use verbal and nonverbal means to resolve uncertainties. Analyses focus on verbal questions and answers (paper 1), nonverbal gaze behavior in relation to the verbal production (paper 2 and 3), and the cognitive and linguistic factors influencing the gaze behavior (paper 4). The results yielded that:



- The structured and predictive conversational setting enables speakers to include unrequested information without compromising the partner’s understanding (paper 1).

- Gaze behavior is related to the production of verbal utterances, as shown by a higher probability of gaze to the conversational partner’s face when asking questions than making statements (paper 2).

- Participants with hearing impairment consistently exhibit higher probability of gaze-to-partner than peers with normal hearing (paper 3).

- Participants with hearing impairment and reduced phonological short term memory capacity show a doubled probability of gaze-to-partner, compared to peers with normal hearing (paper 4).



The findings express the multimodality of communication, and the need for multidisciplinary assessment and therapy. Implications include pedagogical adaptations to an increased use of nonverbal cues in children and adolescents with hearing impairment. The results highlight areas of phonology and conversational strategies to target for speech-language services, and call for an evaluation of nonword repetition as a clinical marker allowing earlier identification of children with hearing impairment at risk for persistent language impairment. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Dr. Norbury, Courtenay, Dept. Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Child hearing impairment, Gaze behavior, Referential communication, Eye tracking, Nonword repetition, Phonological short term memory, Cox regression
in
Lund University, Faculty of Medicine Doctoral Dissertation Series
volume
2013:102
pages
132 pages
publisher
Logopedics, Phoniatrics and Audiology, Lund University
defense location
Belfragesalen, BMC D15
defense date
2013-10-18 13:15
ISSN
1652-8220
ISBN
978-91-87449-74-1
project
Cognition, Communication and Learning
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ba8a55c1-ca60-4906-840b-f816516a4ef9 (old id 4066477)
date added to LUP
2013-10-01 14:45:44
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:47
@phdthesis{ba8a55c1-ca60-4906-840b-f816516a4ef9,
  abstract     = {Many children and adolescents with hearing impairment struggle to meet school demands. The difficulties can be traced to the characteristics of the hearing impairment, and to adverse consequences on language development, often overlooked in diagnostics and intervention. This thesis investigates the communicative ability of children and adolescents with bilateral sensorineural hearing impairment by studying verbal and nonverbal interactions with normal hearing peers. The study uses a referential communication task requiring the speaker to make relevant descriptions, and the listener to use verbal and nonverbal means to resolve uncertainties. Analyses focus on verbal questions and answers (paper 1), nonverbal gaze behavior in relation to the verbal production (paper 2 and 3), and the cognitive and linguistic factors influencing the gaze behavior (paper 4). The results yielded that:<br/><br>
<br/><br>
-	The structured and predictive conversational setting enables speakers to include unrequested information without compromising the partner’s understanding (paper 1). <br/><br>
-	Gaze behavior is related to the production of verbal utterances, as shown by a higher probability of gaze to the conversational partner’s face when asking questions than making statements (paper 2). <br/><br>
-	Participants with hearing impairment consistently exhibit higher probability of gaze-to-partner than peers with normal hearing (paper 3). <br/><br>
-	Participants with hearing impairment and reduced phonological short term memory capacity show a doubled probability of gaze-to-partner, compared to peers with normal hearing (paper 4).<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The findings express the multimodality of communication, and the need for multidisciplinary assessment and therapy. Implications include pedagogical adaptations to an increased use of nonverbal cues in children and adolescents with hearing impairment. The results highlight areas of phonology and conversational strategies to target for speech-language services, and call for an evaluation of nonword repetition as a clinical marker allowing earlier identification of children with hearing impairment at risk for persistent language impairment.},
  author       = {Sandgren, Olof},
  isbn         = {978-91-87449-74-1},
  issn         = {1652-8220},
  keyword      = {Child hearing impairment,Gaze behavior,Referential communication,Eye tracking,Nonword repetition,Phonological short term memory,Cox regression},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {132},
  publisher    = {Logopedics, Phoniatrics and Audiology, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund University, Faculty of Medicine Doctoral Dissertation Series},
  title        = {There's more to the picture than meets the ear - Gaze behavior during communication in children with hearing impairment},
  volume       = {2013:102},
  year         = {2013},
}