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A novel pupillometric method for indexing word difficulty in adults with and without aphasia

Roche, Laura and Hallowell, Brooke
A novel pupillometric method for indexing word difficulty in adults with and without aphasia. In Clinical Aphasiology Conference: Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2012 : 42nd : Lake Tahoe, CA : May 20-25, 2012) / : (2012).

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Abstract

It is well documented that there are many potential confounds in assessing linguistic abilities individuals with stroke and brain injury. Such individuals often have impairments of attention, vision, and motor function, concurrent with impairments of language (Hallowell, 1999; Heuer & Hallowell, 2007; Heuer & Hallowell, 2009; Hallowell, Wertz, & Kruse, 2002). A set of measures that may aid in reducing these confounds entails task-evoked responses of the pupil (TERPs). TERPs are “a time-locked averaged record of pupillary dilation and constriction occurring during the performance of a mental task” (Ahern & Beatty, 1981, p. 122), which occur after the onset of processing (within 100-200 msec) and subside quickly following the termination of processing (Beatty, 1982). Kahneman (1973) highlighted the validity of pupillometric measures of “mental effort” (p. 18). The notion that greater cognitive or linguistic task difficulty leads to greater intensity of effort that can be captured through pupillometric indices has been affirmed through the results of studies on memory load (Kahneman & Beatty, 1966), mental arithmetic (Hess & Polt, 1964), letter discrimination (Beatty & Wagoner, 1978) , sentence repetition (Piquado, Isaacowitz, & Wingfield, 2010), sentence comprehension (Just & Carpenter, 1993), and cross-linguistic interpretation (Hyönä, Tommola, & Alaja, 1995). When experimenters carefully control participant characteristics, stimulus features, and environmental conditions, TERPs potentially provide valuable information regarding individual differences in cognitive and linguistic abilities.

EPrint Type:Clinical Aphasiology Paper
Subjects:UNSPECIFIED
ID Code:2359
Conference:Clinical Aphasiology Conference: Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2012 : 42nd : Lake Tahoe, CA : May 20-25, 2012)