Previous research suggests that attentional deficits could be the underlying cause of language impairments in people with aphasia (PWA) and that behavioral engagement ratings can be an accurate way to measure attention to specific tasks. Previous research also suggests that PWA have lower levels of behavioral engagement than neurologically healthy adults. Participants in the present study included 9 PWA and 18 neurologically healthy adults. This was an exploratory study investigating the relationships and differences between behavioral engagement and physiological measures, perceived arousal, and naming accuracy and response time in PWA and neurologically healthy adults. Participants completed a confrontational naming task while physiological measures (heart rate, heart rate variability, and skin conductance) were taken simultaneously. Subsequent video footage was used to rate participants' behavioral engagement (i.e., how engaged the participant was in the naming task). In general, PWA had lower behavioral engagement ratings of attention than neurotypical adults. Significant correlations were found between behavioral engagement ratings of attention, naming response time, and naming accuracy. No statistical significance was found between behavioral engagement ratings of attention and heart rate, heart rate variability, and skin conductance. Further research is needed to support these findings.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Ward, Vivian Elisabeth, "An Exploratory Study of Behavioral Engagement in People With and Without Aphasia: Comparisons and Relationships" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 9542.
aphasia, behavioral engagement, attention, physiological arousal, heart rate variability, skin conductance