Research Reports - Detection of text-based social cues in adults with traumatic brain injury

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2017 Jun 8:1-15. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2017.1333012. [Epub
ahead of print]

Turkstra LS(1)(2), Duff MC(3), Politis AM(1)(4), Mutlu B(5).

OBJECTIVES: Written text contains verbal immediacy cues-word form or grammatical
cues that indicate positive attitude or liking towards an object, action, or
person. We asked if adults with moderate-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI)
would respond to these cues, given evidence of TBI-related social communication
impairments.
METHODS: Sixty-nine adults with TBI and 74 healthy comparison (HC) peers read
pairs of sentences containing different types of immediacy cues (e.g., speaker A
said "these Canadians" vs. B said "those Canadians.") and identified which
speaker (A or B) had a more positive attitude towards the underlined entity (Task
1); and pairs of sentences comprised of a context sentence (e.g., Fred is asked,
"Did you visit Joan and Sue?") and a statement sentence (Fred says, "I visited
Sue and Joan.") and were asked to indicate how much Fred liked or disliked the
underlined words (Task 2).
RESULTS: HC group scores were significantly higher on Task 1, indicating more
sensitivity to cues. On Task 2, TBI and HC group ratings differed across cue
types and immediacy types, and the TBI group appeared to have less sensitivity to
these cues.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that TBI-related impairments may reduce sensitivity
to subtle social cues in text. 

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