Scientists are working to improve communication-aiding technologies

Visual display complexity affects reaction time.

More than four million Americans who have such complex disabilities that they cannot meet their communication needs through their own speech can benefit from the use of aided Augmentative and Alternative Communication, or AAC, which is the use of computers, tablets or mobile devices to supplement or replace speech or writing. According to Penn State researchers, deciding which hand to use for communication-aiding technology is a cognitive task that can slow the user down, potentially inhibiting communication and performance.
More than four million Americans who have such complex disabilities that they cannot meet their communication needs through their own speech can benefit from the use of aided Augmentative and Alternative Communication, or AAC, which is the use of computers, tablets or mobile devices to supplement or replace speech or writing. According to Penn State researchers, deciding which hand to use for communication-aiding technology is a cognitive task that can slow the user down, potentially inhibiting communication and performance.

In excess of four million Americans who have such complex inabilities that they can’t meet their correspondence needs through their own discourse can profit by the utilization of supported Augmentative and Alternative Communication, or AAC, which is the utilization of PCs, tablets or cell phones to supplement or supplant discourse or composing. Since numerous people get these gadgets through hand achieves, it is important to consider hand or arm developments in an outline of AAC instruments and frameworks.

According to a new study conducted by the Penn State scientists, Choosing which hand to use for correspondence helping innovation is an intellectual undertaking that can back the client off, conceivably hindering communication and performance.

Robert Sainburg, professor of kinesiology and neurology said, “Crossing midline, or reaching an arm over the body, is more ‘costly’ — uses more time and effort.”

Cognitive processes are normally engaged to avoid costly actions, and that choosing the best (lowest-cost) response takes cognitive effort, even though one does not normally associate such a seemingly easy choice with cognition. Scientists discovered complexity affects reaction time influences response time and subjective perceptual load. Also, intellectual perceptual load meddles with hand-choice choices and builds the recurrence of contralateral — crosswise over the body — comes to.

Sainburg said, “We hypothesized that this reaction for hand-selection should recruit cognitive resources and thus should be influenced by cognitive-perceptual loading.”

During the experiments, scientists adapted a visual search task that presented participants with visual displays that varied in visual-perceptual characteristics. The task required participants to select a just-promoted target stimulus from an array of 16 symbols.

The images comprised of four things worn on the feet (shoes, boots), four things worn on the middle (shirt, dress shirt), four mid-year things (swimsuits, shades), and four nasty climate things (waterproof shell, warm cap).

Each arrangement of things had free all out relations to each other, notwithstanding sharing shading. Their physical shapes were not comparative; for example, the baseball top and the bathing suits were both red, yet very unique fit as a fiddle.

Scientists later examined how and whether the visual-perceptual characteristics of the different displays influenced motor behavior during the selection of the target.

The study suggests that the influence of cognitive-perceptual load on hand selection, such that poor decisions that required more time and energy were made, as cognitive load increased. This included making more cross-midline reaches. In other words, participants chose the “wrong hand” more often when their attention and cognition was diverted to other aspects of the task.

Sainburg said, “These findings indicate that choosing which hand we use to reach to something is a cognitive choice that can suffer when our cognition is focused on other things. So, seemingly simple motor tasks can suffer when our attentional resources are diverted. In everyday experience, this is one reason why smartphone use during walking or driving can be so dangerous: It not only diverts important visual attention resources but can also result in bad, possibly dangerous, motor choices too.”