The susceptibility to gaze cueing in deaf children aged 7-14 years old (N = 16) was tested using a nonlinguistic task. Participants performed a peripheral shape-discrimination task, whereas uninformative central gaze cues validly or invalidly cued the location of the target. To assess the role of sign language experience and bilingualism in deaf participants, three groups of age-matched hearing children were recruited: bimodal bilinguals (vocal and sign-language, N = 19), unimodal bilinguals (two vocal languages, N = 17), and monolinguals (N = 14). Although all groups showed a gaze-cueing effect and were faster to respond to validly than invalidly cued targets, this effect was twice as large in deaf participants. This result shows that atypical sensory experience can tune the saliency of a fundamental social cue.
Bibliographical note© 2019 Society for Research in Child Development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology