Gaze-speech coordination during social interaction in Parkinson's disease

Hodgson, Timothy, Hermens, Frouke and Ezard, Gemma (2024) Gaze-speech coordination during social interaction in Parkinson's disease. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders . ISSN 1368-2822

Gaze-speech coordination during social interaction in Parkinson's disease
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Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) can affect social interaction and communication as well as motor and cognitive processes. Speech is affected in PD, as is the control of voluntary eye movements which are thought to play an important role in “turn taking” in conversation.
Aims: This study aimed to measure eye movements during spoken conversation in PD to assess whether differences in patterns of eye gaze are linked to disrupted turn taking and impaired communication efficiency.
Methods and Procedure: Eleven participants with mild PD and 14 controls completed a 2-player guessing game. During each 3 minute game turn, one of the players had to guess the names of as many objects as possible based only on the other player’s description. Eye movements were recorded simultaneously in both participants using mobile eye trackers along with speech onset and offset times.
Outcomes and Results: When people with PD played the role of describer, the other player guessed less objects compared to when controls described objects. When guessing objects, people with PD performed just as well as controls. Analysis of eye fixations showed that people with PD made longer periods of fixation on the other player’s face relative to controls and a lower number of such “gaze on face” periods.
Conclusions and Implications: A combination of oculomotor, cognitive and speech abnormalities may disrupt communication in PD. Better public awareness of oculomotor, speech and other deficits in the condition could improve social connectedness in people with Parkinson’s.

Keywords:Eye movements, conversation, oculomotor, saccades
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B620 Speech Science
Divisions:COLLEGE OF HEALTH AND SCIENCE > School of Psychology
ID Code:56188
Deposited On:18 Sep 2023 14:46

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