The DCIEM Map Task Corpus: Spontaneous dialogue under sleep deprivation and drug treatment

Ellen Bard, C. Sotillo, A.h. Anderson, Henry Thompson, M.m. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes a resource designed for the general study of spontaneous speech under the stress of sleep deprivation. It is a corpus of 216 unscripted task-oriented dialogues produced by normal adults in the course of a major sleep deprivation study. The study itself examined continuous task performance through baseline, sleepless and recovery periods by groups treated with placebo or one of two drugs (Modafinil, d-amphetamine) reputed to counter the effects of sleep deprivation. The dialogues were all produced while carrying out the route communication task used in the HCRC Map Task Corpus. Pairs of talkers collaborated to reproduce on one partner's schematic map a route preprinted on the other's. Controlled differences between the maps and use of labelled imaginary locations limit genre, vocabulary and effects of real-world knowledge. The designs for the construction of maps and the allocation of subjects to maps make the corpus a controlled elicitation experiment. Each talker participated in 12 dialogues over the course of the study. Preliminary examinations of dialogue length and task performance measures indicate effects of drug treatment, sleep deprivation and number of conversational partners. The corpus is available to researchers interested in all levels of speech and dialogue analysis, in both normal and stressed conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-84
Number of pages13
JournalSpeech Communication
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1996


  • dialogue
  • spontaneous speech
  • sleep-deprivation
  • stress
  • map task
  • modafinil
  • amphetamine

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