Eye Tracking Study of Visual Attention of Children with Hearing Impairments in a Learning Situation
Experimental Psychology (Russia)
Potential mechanisms underlying atypical joint attention that impede effective learning are analyzed using the example of the consequences of hearing impairment. A sample of preschool children with hearing impairment after cochlear implantation (sensorineural hearing loss, ICD-10 class H90) was studied. For the study, an experimental situation was created that would allow tracing the learning difficulties in children with hearing impairments associated with the skills of joint attention. In the course of completing a training task jointly with an adult in children with hearing impairment, eye movements were recorded with a portable tracker in the form of Pupil Headset glasses. In the course of the study, it was possible to identify and visualize markers of oculomotor activity that impede their effective learning: distribution of visual attention over a wide area of the visual field, not in a focused mode; in the trajectory of eye movements and the position of fixations, there is a preference for non-social signals, non-target objects, difficulties in switching attention from one object to another. The main manifestation of joint attention deficit in preschoolers with hearing impairment is a decrease in the volume and time of stable maintenance of synchronicity of perception in the learning process. The parameters of oculomotor activity can serve as an indicator of the ability of a child with a hearing impairment to maintain attention to the sample form and a diagnostic indicator of the possible number of errors in the learning process. Such indicators are the duration and number of fixations. The role of multimodal means of maintaining visual attention to the sample in the process of teaching children with hearing impairment is shown. It was revealed that the attention of a child with hearing impairment to the face of an adult is part of the joint attention to the object, which improves the effectiveness of learning and is associated with a longer visual attention to the object (teaching pattern).