Thursday, September 10, 2020

The Gazes of Novice & Native Signers are Different

If it seems like a beginner and fluent signers are looking in different places when they watch someone use ASL—you are right. Eye movement indicates how well a person can understand sign language, according to a new study. The study comes out of the Center for Sensory, Perceptual, and Cognitive Ecology (SPaCE Center) at the NTID (National Technical Institute for the Deaf) in Rochester. Rain Bosworth, an assistant professor, and researcher found that the gaze is greatly affected by a user's language expertise. Fluent signers watch a person's face while novices focus on the hands. Bosworth said:
This fits with what we know about research that shows that signers have very good peripheral vision, especially from the lower visual field. Expert signers look at the face and utilize their peripheral vision for catching the fine details of moving handshapes.
Details of the study are published in the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. or read more about the study in Science Daily. Below is a video illustration of the results: