This paper examines the phenomenon of stimulus overselectivity, or overselective attention, as it may impact AAC training and use in individuals with intellectual disabilities. Stimulus overselectivity is defined as an atypical limitation in the number of stimuli or stimulus features within an image that are attended to and subsequently learned. Within AAC, the term stimulus could refer to symbols or line drawings on speech-generating devices, drawings or pictures on low-technology systems, and/or the elements within visual scene displays. In this context, overselective attention may result in unusual or uneven error patterns such as confusion between two symbols that share a single feature, or difficulties with transitioning between different types of hardware. We review some of the ways that overselective attention has been studied behaviorally. We then examine how eye tracking technology allows a glimpse into some of the behavioral characteristics of overselective attention. We describe an intervention approach, differential observing responses, that may reduce or eliminate overselectivity, and we consider this type of intervention as it relates to issues of relevance for AAC.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Speech and Hearing