Journal Article

Some Limits on Encoding Visible Speech and Gestures Using a Dichotic Shadowing Task

Laura A. Thompson and Felipe A. Guzman

in The Journals of Gerontology: Series B

Published on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America

Volume 54B, issue 6, pages P347-P349
Published in print November 1999 | ISSN: 1079-5014
Published online November 1999 | e-ISSN: 1758-5368 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geronb/54B.6.P347
Some Limits on Encoding Visible Speech and Gestures Using a Dichotic Shadowing Task

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Visible speech and gestures are two forms of available language information that can be used by listeners to help them understand the speaker's meaning. Previous research has shown that older adults are particularly dependent on visible speech, yet seem to profit less than younger adults from the speaker's gestures. To understand how visible speech and gestures are used when listening becomes difficult, the authors conducted an experiment with a dichotic shadowing task. The experiment examined how accurately participants could shadow the right- or left-ear input when instructed to attend selectively to a particular ear and whether performance benefited from visual input. The results indicate that older adults' shadowing performance was unaffected by visible speech and gestures. Younger adults did benefit by both visible speech and gestures. Thus, under extremely attention-demanding listening conditions, older adults are unable to use a compensatory mechanism for encoding visual language.

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Subjects: Geriatric Medicine ; Psychology ; Gerontology and Ageing

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