Visual Attention in Children With Normal Hearing, Children With Hearing Aids, and Children With Cochlear Implants Previous studies have reported both positive and negative effects of deafness on visual attention. The purpose of this study was to replicate and expand findings of previous studies by examining visual attention abilities in children with deafness and children with normal hearing. Twenty-eight children, ages 8–14 years, were evaluated. There ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2002
Visual Attention in Children With Normal Hearing, Children With Hearing Aids, and Children With Cochlear Implants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Anne Marie Tharpe, PhD
    Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences Nashville, TN
  • Daniel H. Ashmead
    Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences Nashville, TN
  • Ann M. Rothpletz
    Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences Nashville, TN
  • Contact author: Anne Marie Tharpe, PhD, Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, 1114 19th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212. E-mail: tharpeam@ctrvax.vanderbilt.edu
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2002
Visual Attention in Children With Normal Hearing, Children With Hearing Aids, and Children With Cochlear Implants
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2002, Vol. 45, 403-413. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/032)
History: Received February 7, 2001 , Accepted December 5, 2001
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2002, Vol. 45, 403-413. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/032)
History: Received February 7, 2001; Accepted December 5, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 26

Previous studies have reported both positive and negative effects of deafness on visual attention. The purpose of this study was to replicate and expand findings of previous studies by examining visual attention abilities in children with deafness and children with normal hearing. Twenty-eight children, ages 8–14 years, were evaluated. There were two groups of children with prelingual deafness and one group with normal hearing. The children with deafness were divided further into two groups: those with cochlear implants and those with conventional hearing aids. Unlike previous studies, the current study found no substantial differences in performance among these three groups of children on a continuous-performance visual attention task or on a letter cancellation task. Children in all three groups performed very well on the visual attention tasks. Furthermore, there was little association between performance on the visual attention tasks and parent or teacher ratings of behavior and attention. Age and nonverbal intelligence were significantly correlated with performance on visual attention tasks. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed, along with directions for future research.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by a grant from the Kennedy Center, Hobbs Society to Drs. Ashmead and Tharpe. We are grateful to Drs. Fred H. Bess and John Reiser for their valuable contributions throughout the project. Finally, we thank the participants in this study, their parents, and their teachers.
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