Time in the Vicinity of Conversation A Comparison Between Parkinson's Disease and Healthy Controls

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Erica Jenks
Carrie Leeper
Jamie Pyatt
Carrie Rountrey


By Erica Jenks, Speech Language Hearing Sciences; Carrie Leeper, Speech Language Hearing Sciences; Jaime Pyatt, Speech Language Hearing Sciences

Advisor: Carrie Rountrey

Award: Excellence in Research Communication

Presentation ID: 319

Abstract: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a disorder that is characterized by a shortage of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is critical for body movement. PD affects movement by slowly altering the control of motor movements, including movement for speech. Anecdotal reports indicate that People with Parkinson's Disease (PWPD) reduce their time in conversation because of these difficulties. Undergraduate researchers were called upon to create a workflow and manage volunteers to analyze a set of long sound files which sample natural speech for the purpose of comparing PWPD and Healthy Volunteers (HV) regarding time spent in the vicinity of conversation. These students were tasked with creating a workflow to splice and analyze the sound files and to employ and manage other student volunteers to execute the workflow. The workflow also attends to the analysis goals of a future mixed methods research study that select members of the project team will engage in. In a previously conducted study, 25 participants were recorded in their home and natural environments for approximately 15 hours each. This resulted in long, unlabeled sound files that were primed for mining for several research questions. This project aimed to answer the question: "What is the time spent in the vicinity of conversation, and how does it differ between PWPD and HV?" Hypothesis: PWPD spend less time in the vicinity of conversation than HV. This poster focuses on methodology and presents preliminary data for this ongoing project. 

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Category: Digital Futures