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ERIC Number: EJ1079315
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
A Novel Pupillometric Method for Indexing Word Difficulty in Individuals with and without Aphasia
Chapman, Laura R.; Hallowell, Brooke
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v58 n5 p1508-1520 Oct 2015
Purpose: Cognitive effort is a clinically important facet of linguistic processing that is often overlooked in the assessment and treatment of people with aphasia (PWA). Furthermore, there is a paucity of valid ways to index cognitive effort in PWA. The construct of cognitive effort has been indexed for decades via pupillometry (measurement of pupil dilation and constriction during a cognitive task), yet pupillometry has not been implemented in studies including PWA. In the present study, we tested a novel method for indexing cognitive effort during linguistic processing in people with and without aphasia. Method: Forty control participants and 39 PWA listened to semantically easy and difficult single nouns and looked at images while their pupillary responses were monitored. Mean pupil dilation in response to easy versus difficult nouns was calculated to index cognitive effort. Results: Larger mean pupil dilation values were obtained for difficult compared with easy nouns for both groups. Conclusion: Results provide preliminary evidence that pupillometry can be used to index cognitive effort during linguistic processing of single nouns in people with and without aphasia. Methods for indexing cognitive effort will be a valuable addition to existing assessment methods. Suggestions for further research are offered.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R43DC010079