Spoken Word Recognition in Toddlers Who Use Cochlear Implants PurposeThe purpose of this study was to assess the time course of spoken word recognition in 2-year-old children who use cochlear implants (CIs) in quiet and in the presence of speech competitors.MethodChildren who use CIs and age-matched peers with normal acoustic hearing listened to familiar auditory labels, in quiet or ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2009
Spoken Word Recognition in Toddlers Who Use Cochlear Implants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tina M. Grieco-Calub
    University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Jenny R. Saffran
    University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Ruth Y. Litovsky
    University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Disclosure Statement
    Disclosure Statement×
    Ruth Y. Litovsky has consulted and provided written materials for distribution for Cochlear Americas.
    Ruth Y. Litovsky has consulted and provided written materials for distribution for Cochlear Americas.×
  • Contact author: Tina M. Grieco-Calub, University of Wisconsin, Waisman Center, 1500 Highland Avenue, Room 565, Madison, WI 53705. E-mail: tgriecocalub@niu.edu.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language
Article   |   December 01, 2009
Spoken Word Recognition in Toddlers Who Use Cochlear Implants
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2009, Vol. 52, 1390-1400. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0154)
History: Received July 25, 2008 , Revised December 17, 2008 , Accepted March 21, 2009
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2009, Vol. 52, 1390-1400. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0154)
History: Received July 25, 2008; Revised December 17, 2008; Accepted March 21, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 22

PurposeThe purpose of this study was to assess the time course of spoken word recognition in 2-year-old children who use cochlear implants (CIs) in quiet and in the presence of speech competitors.

MethodChildren who use CIs and age-matched peers with normal acoustic hearing listened to familiar auditory labels, in quiet or in the presence of speech competitors, while their eye movements to target objects were digitally recorded. Word recognition performance was quantified by measuring each child’s reaction time (i.e., the latency between the spoken auditory label and the first look at the target object) and accuracy (i.e., the amount of time that children looked at target objects within 367 ms to 2,000 ms after the label onset).

ResultsChildren with CIs were less accurate and took longer to fixate target objects than did age-matched children without hearing loss. Both groups of children showed reduced performance in the presence of the speech competitors, although many children continued to recognize labels at above-chance levels.

ConclusionThe results suggest that the unique auditory experience of young CI users slows the time course of spoken word recognition abilities. In addition, real-world listening environments may slow language processing in young language learners, regardless of their hearing status.

Acknowledgments
This work was funded by the National Institutes of Health Grant F32DC008452 (awarded to Tina M. Grieco-Calub), Grant R01HD37466 (awarded to Jenny R. Saffran), and Grants R21DC006642 and R01DC008365 (awarded to Ruth Y. Litovsky); National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Core Grant P30HD03352 (awarded to the Waisman Center); and Cochlear Americas, Advanced Bionics, and the Med-El Corporation (sponsoring family travel and participation). One of the authors (Ruth Y. Litovsky) has consulted and provided written materials for distribution for Cochlear Americas.
We would like to thank the following people for their contributions: Katherine Graf Estes for help in experimental design; Shelly Godar, Tanya Jensen, Eileen Storm, Susan Richmond, Molly Bergsbaken, and Kristine Henslin for help in data collection; and Derek Houston, Karen Kirk, and Alexa Romberg for helpful comments on the article.
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