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Visual attention patterns for contextually rich images: Neurotypical adults in two age groups and adults with aphasia
Contextually rich images are an increasingly popular method of message representation for people with aphasia who rely on AAC. These images contain background content and human figures and are designed to represent messages in a holistic manner. Because of the holistic nature of contextually rich images, users must identify meaningful regions within these images to understand their meaning. Researchers recommend that human figures be engaged in context of images to assist with understanding the image meaning. Understanding how people visually attend to contextually rich images and how they respond to engagement cues can provide clinicians with an understanding of which types of images are most beneficial for their clients. This dissertation consisted of two studies each designed to examine visual attention patterns across contextually rich images. Study one compared the visual attention patterns of younger and older neurotypical adults across person-engaged and person-disengaged images. Study two compared the visual attention patterns of people with aphasia and their neurotypical controls across person-engaged and person-disengaged images. The researcher measured visual attention in percent of time fixated across areas of interest and domain relative score across areas of interest. The researcher uncovered no significant differences between younger and older neurotypical adults for visual attention patterns across person-engaged and person-disengaged contextually rich images. Both age groups exhibited a similar response to engagement in contextually rich images as they both increased their visual attention on the object of engagement of interest when viewing person-engaged images. Both adults with aphasia and their neurotypical controls visually attended to contextually rich images in a similar manner; however, significant differences were found in their response to engagement cues for domain relative score. Adults with aphasia and their neurotypical controls both demonstrated increased domain relative scores on objects of engagement when viewing person-engaged images as compared to person-disengaged images; however, people with aphasia exhibited significantly lower domain relative scores on objects of engagement than did their neurotypical controls when viewing person-engaged images.
Thiessen, Amber, "Visual attention patterns for contextually rich images: Neurotypical adults in two age groups and adults with aphasia" (2013). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3558630.