Oregon State University



Event Details

OSU Science Pub - Dr. Kathleen Bogart Guest Speaker


Monday, January 11, 2016 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Diversity and disability can affect our interactions and relationships. When people present an appearance or behave in ways that are unfamiliar or outside what we experience as normal, communication can become difficult.

According to Kathleen Bogart, assistant professor at Oregon State University, our expectations about how we convey thoughts and emotions in face-to-face encounters — through language and the subtleties of facial expressions and eye movements — can lead us to stigmatize people who behave differently. And for people who lack one of those channels, difficulties in making themselves understood become problematic, maybe life changing.

At the January 11 Corvallis Science Pub, Bogart will describe her research on the twists and turns of interpersonal communication as seen through the eyes of people with disabilities. Born with facial paralysis, a condition known as Moebius Syndrome, Bogart learned as a child how to compensate in order to communicate.

In her research, she studies what it means to interact with others without the channels that most people take for granted. “For example, facial paralysis is actually a widely shared experience,” she says. “About 130,000 Americans are born with it or develop it each year from a variety of conditions.”

Difficulties in communicating, she has found, can lead to what she calls an emotional disconnect. “If someone with facial paralysis walks into a room, everyone will notice that something is different about their face, but they can’t quite figure out what it is,” she says. As a result, conversation may become distracted, cut short or not even started. Others have difficulty recognizing the emotions of people with facial paralysis.

People who are unable to use the full range of communication channels may suffer severe social consequences, she adds. But the ability to work around those differences can benefit people who feel isolated or misunderstood.

“People have been studying emotional communications for years. But what if we study what happens in populations with disabilities? Compensatory expression can also be used in interventions in other conditions that result in emotional miscommunications, like Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, depression, perhaps autism,” she says.

Bogart directs the Disability and Social Interaction Lab at OSU. She received her Ph.D. in psychology at Tufts University in 2012. Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health.

The Science Pub presentation is free and open to the public. It begins at 6 p.m. at the Old World Deli, 341 S.W. 2nd St. in Corvallis. Sponsors of Science Pub include Terra magazine at OSU, the Downtown Corvallis Association and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.





Off Campus
Old World Deli
341 2nd St.
Kathleen Bogart
1 541 737 1360
shirley.mann at oregonstate.edu
Sch of Psychological Sci
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