A new year always brings new discoveries! VL2 scientists in the Action and Brain Lab (ABL) and the Numeracy and Educational Neuroscience Lab (NENS) are proud to announce new research publications, their first of the year. Both publications have several students as co-authors and appear in open-access international scientific journals.
“Attitudes toward signing avatars vary depending on hearing status, age of signed language acquisition, and avatar type,” was published in Frontiers in Psychology-Language Sciences. The co-authors are Dr. Lorna C. Quandt, an assistant professor in the Ph.D. in Educational Neuroscience program (PEN) and ABL director, PEN student Athena S. Willis, and research assistants Melody Schwenk, Kaitlyn Weeks, and Ruth Ferster.
The research team surveyed 191 ASL users who were deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing, on three types of signing stimuli: human signer, computer-synthesized avatar, and avatar made using motion capture. Among other findings, the researchers found that an earlier age of ASL acquisition correlated with sensitivity toward movement quality issues seen in computer-generated avatars. Overall, participants strongly preferred the motion capture avatar over the computer-synthesized avatar on ratings of comprehension, how natural the signing looked, and whether or not the avatar looked "creepy."
"Different language modalities, yet similar cognitive processes in arithmetic fact retrieval” was published in Brain Science. The co-authors are Dr. Ilaria Berteletti (senior author), PEN assistant professor and NENS director, Dr. Quandt, PEN student Sarah Elizabeth Kimbley, PEN alumna Dr. SaraBeth Joy Sullivan, and research assistant Makoto Miyakoshi co-authored this paper.
The researchers' analyses focused on subtraction and multiplication problems. Their main finding from this neuroimaging study is that the attentional mechanisms for solving simple arithmetic problems are equivalent for early ASL signers and hearing non-signers.
VL2 congratulates everyone on their continued scholarship and advancing astounding new knowledge for the benefit of society.