Using linguistic indicators of difficulty to identify mild cognitive impairment

Rebecca Lunsford, Peter Heeman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Speaking is a complex task, and it is to be expected that speech will be effected when a speaker is faced with cognitive difficulties. To explore how cognitive impairment is manifested in a persons' speech, we compared the speech of elders diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) to others who are cognitively intact, while the speakers attempt to retell a story they just heard. We found that the speakers with impairment, as compared to those who are cognitively intact, spent more time engaged in verbalized hesitations (e.g., "and um ...") prior to speaking story content, and that these verbalized hesitations accounted for a larger ratio of the time spent retelling. In addition, we found that a higher percentage of the impaired speakers used phrases such as "I guess" and "I can't recall" to qualify content they were unsure of, or to replace details they couldn't recall. These results provide insight into how speakers manage cognitive impairment, suggesting that these indicators of difficulty could be used to assist in early diagnosis of MCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH
PublisherInternational Speech and Communication Association
Pages658-662
Number of pages5
Volume2015-January
StatePublished - 2015
Event16th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH 2015 - Dresden, Germany
Duration: Sep 6 2015Sep 10 2015

Other

Other16th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH 2015
CountryGermany
CityDresden
Period9/6/159/10/15

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Keywords

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Disfluencies
  • Hesitations
  • Linguistic indicators of difficulty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Signal Processing
  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation

Cite this

Lunsford, R., & Heeman, P. (2015). Using linguistic indicators of difficulty to identify mild cognitive impairment. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH (Vol. 2015-January, pp. 658-662). International Speech and Communication Association.