A comparison of the visual attention patterns of people with aphasia and adults without neurological conditions for camera-engaged and task-engaged visual scenes

Amber Thiessen, David Beukelman, Karen Hux, Maria Longenecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to compare the visual attention patterns of adults with aphasia and adults without neurological conditions when viewing visual scenes with 2 types of engagement. Method: Eye-tracking technology was used to measure the visual attention patterns of 10 adults with aphasia and 10 adults without neurological conditions. Participants viewed camera-engaged (i.e., human figure facing camera) and task-engaged (i.e., human figure looking at and touching an object) visual scenes. Results: Participants with aphasia responded to engagement cues by focusing on objects of interest more for taskengaged scenes than camera-engaged scenes; however, the difference in their responses to these scenes were not as pronounced as those observed in adults without neurological conditions. In addition, people with aphasia spent more time looking at background areas of interest and less time looking at person areas of interest for cameraengaged scenes than did control participants. Conclusions: Results indicate people with aphasia visually attend to scenes differently than adults without neurological conditions. As a consequence, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) facilitators may have different visual attention behaviors than the people with aphasia for whom they are constructing or selecting visual scenes. Further examination of the visual attention of people with aphasia may help optimize visual scene selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-301
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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