Conversations between seriously ill people, their families and palliative care specialists lead to better quality-of-life. Understanding what happens during these conversations -- and how they vary by cultural, clinical, and situational contexts -- is essential to guide healthcare communication improvement efforts. True understanding requires methods to study conversations in large, inclusive, and multi-site epidemiological studies. A new computer model offers an automated and valid tool for such large-scale scientific analyses.
Children learn a huge number of words in the early preschool years. A two-year-old might be able to say just a handful of words, while a five-year-old is quite likely to know many thousands. How do children achieve this marvelous feat? The question has occupied psychologists for over a century: In countless carefully designed experiments, researchers titrate the information children use to learn new words. How children integrate different types of information, has remained unclear.
An interdisciplinary team at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology determined that older adult women converse more effectively with strangers than their younger counterparts; additionally, communicating with female friends decreases stress hormone levels for women across the lifespan.
Politicians use emotional resources in their speeches in parliament depending on the type of debate and use emotive rhetoric strategically and selectively, mainly to attract voters. This is one of the main conclusions of a study published in the journal American Political Science Review (APSR) involving Toni Rodon, a professor with the UPF Department of Political, together with Moritz Osnabrügge (Durham University) and Sara B. Hobolt (London School of Economics and Political Science).
An online study involving 154 volunteers measured the importance of visual cues to communication for people with normal hearing and hearing loss.
Ashique KhudaBukhsh of Carnegie Mellon University's Language Technologies Institute led a team of researchers who used machine learning to identify supportive tweets from Pakistan during India's COVID crisis. In the throes of a public health crisis, words of hope can be welcome medicine.
A study published on May 21 in Child Development shows that the early production of beat gestures with the hands (i.e., gestures normally associated with emphasis that do not represent the semantic content of speech) by infants between 14 and 58 months of age in natural interactions with their carers predicts that in their later development, nearing the age of five, these children obtain better results insofar as their oral narrative skills.
Psycholinguists from the HSE Center for Language and Brain, in collaboration with researchers from the City University of New York and the University of Stuttgart, investigated how reading in Russian varies among different groups of readers. The authors used a novel method in bilingualism research -- comparison of the eye-movement sequences (scanpaths) in adult native speakers of Russian, Russian-speaking children, and adult bilinguals with different levels of Russian proficiency. The results of the study were published in Reading Research Quarterly.
A first-of-its kind study in U.S.-born children from Spanish-speaking families finds that minority language exposure does not threaten the acquisition of English by children in the U.S. and that there is no trade-off between English and Spanish. Rather, children reliably acquire English by age 5, and their total language knowledge is greater to the degree that they also acquire Spanish. Children's level of English knowledge was independent of their level of Spanish knowledge.
It is possible to re-create a bird's song by reading only its brain activity, shows a first proof-of-concept study from the University of California San Diego. The researchers were able to reproduce the songbird's complex vocalizations down to the pitch, volume and timbre of the original. The study is a first step towards developing vocal prostheses for humans who have lost the ability to speak.