Development and Application of an Eye Tracker Protocol for the Analysis of Prosodic Perception in Infants
Presenter Name:Yasmin, Cardoso
School/Affiliation:Universidade Federal do ABC
Co-Authors:Rodrigo A. C. Magalotti, Victor Hugo da Silva Luisiana Passarini, Pedro A. S. O. Neto, Andrea F. de Azevedo Almeida, Leticia Caroline Pinheiro de Souza, Mariana Sola, Maria Teresa Carthery-Goulart, Katerina Lukasova, Patrícia Vanzella
Scientists have increasingly searched for biological markers to assist in clinical diagnoses of developmental disorders. Recent evidence suggests that eye-tracking is an efficient tool to identify alterations in social and communicative skills in children with autism spectrum disorder, who present deficits in prosodic perception. Prosody is the aspect of spoken language that involves essentially musical parameters, such as variations in rhythm, pitch, and intonation. The present study investigates prosodic perception through eye tracking in a sample of 37 neurotypical infants (15.3±3.6 months old) who participated in a program of musical playshops twice a week for seven weeks. Audiovisual stimuli were presented on a computer screen and consisted of spoken or sung dialogues between two children in the form of a cartoon. Sentences were either affirmative or interrogative and were organized in four conditions: (1) Speech with semantic content, (2) Speech with pseudowords, (3) Songs with semantic content, and (4) Songs with pseudowords. An ANOVA analysis of variance compared saccade patterns and fixations in the four conditions. A cross-sectional analysis indicated that the number of fixations was bigger in condition (3). Longitudinal analyses revealed that the number of total fixations increased after participation in the playshops. Future studies with control groups are necessary to elucidate the playshops’ effects on expected language maturation during the music intervention period.