The validity of cognitive distance in oral and written discourse

Brenda M. Wilson, Rebecca Smith, Adele Proctor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oral and written discourse samples of adolescents with closed head injury (CHI) and controls were analyzed to determine if efficiency and coherence measures changed as the length of their picture descriptions increased. The hypothesis was that as ideas were elaborated, the number of words used to express an idea would increase and the conceptual connectedness of ideas would decrease. This research study supported this expectation for efficiency in normal oral and written discourse but not for the discourse of participants with CHI. Further, the efficiency measure significantly differentiated the writing and speaking of the two groups as the picture descriptions were elaborated. Coherence ratings did not distinguish the development of discourse within or between groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-307
Number of pages4
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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