The Relationship Between Nonverbal Cognitive Functions and Hearing Loss Purpose This study investigated the relationship between hearing loss and memory and attention when nonverbal, visually presented cognitive tests are used. Method Hearing loss (pure-tone audiometry) and IQ were measured in 30 participants with mild to severe hearing loss. Participants performed cognitive tests of pattern recognition memory, sustained ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2007
The Relationship Between Nonverbal Cognitive Functions and Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Adriana A. Zekveld
    VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Jan Berend Deijen
    VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • S. Theo Goverts
    VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Sophia E. Kramer
    VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Contact author: Adriana A. Zekveld, Department of Audiology, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands. E-mail: aa.zekveld@vumc.nl.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2007
The Relationship Between Nonverbal Cognitive Functions and Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2007, Vol. 50, 74-82. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/006)
History: Received March 22, 2005 , Revised August 24, 2005 , Accepted June 16, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2007, Vol. 50, 74-82. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/006)
History: Received March 22, 2005; Revised August 24, 2005; Accepted June 16, 2006

Purpose This study investigated the relationship between hearing loss and memory and attention when nonverbal, visually presented cognitive tests are used.

Method Hearing loss (pure-tone audiometry) and IQ were measured in 30 participants with mild to severe hearing loss. Participants performed cognitive tests of pattern recognition memory, sustained visual attention, and spatial working memory. All cognitive tests were selected from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB expedio; Cambridge Cognition Ltd., 2002). Regression analyses were performed to examine the relationship between hearing loss and these cognitive measures of memory and attention when controlling for age and IQ.

Results The data indicate that hearing loss was not associated with decreased performance on the memory and attention tests. In contrast, participants with more severe hearing loss made more use of an efficient strategy during performance on the spatial working memory subtest. This result might reflect the more extensive use of working memory in daily life to compensate for the loss of speech information.

Conclusions The authors conclude that the use of nonverbal tests is essential when testing cognitive functions of individuals with hearing loss.

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