Short-Term Auditory Memory in Children Using Cochlear Implants and Its Relevance to Receptive Language The aim of this study was to assess auditory sequential, short-termmemory (SSTM) performance in young children using cochlear implants (CI group) and to examine the relationship of this performance to receptive language performance. Twenty-four children, 5 to 11 years old, using the Nucleus 22-electrode cochlear implant, were tested on a ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2002
Short-Term Auditory Memory in Children Using Cochlear Implants and Its Relevance to Receptive Language
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • P. W. Dawson
    The Bionic Ear Institute and Cochlear Limited East Melbourne, Australia
  • P. A. Busby
    University of Melbourne and Cochlear Limited East Melbourne, Australia
  • C. M. McKay
    University of Melbourne East Melbourne, Australia
  • G. M. Clark
    The Bionic Ear Institute and University of Melbourne East Melbourne, Australia
  • Contact author: Ms. P. Dawson, MA, The Australian Bionic Ear & Hearing Research Institute, 384-388 Albert St., East Melbourne 3002, Australia. E-mail: PDawson@cochlear.com.au
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2002
Short-Term Auditory Memory in Children Using Cochlear Implants and Its Relevance to Receptive Language
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2002, Vol. 45, 789-801. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/064)
History: Received May 26, 2001 , Accepted February 25, 2002
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2002, Vol. 45, 789-801. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/064)
History: Received May 26, 2001; Accepted February 25, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 41

The aim of this study was to assess auditory sequential, short-termmemory (SSTM) performance in young children using cochlear implants (CI group) and to examine the relationship of this performance to receptive language performance. Twenty-four children, 5 to 11 years old, using the Nucleus 22-electrode cochlear implant, were tested on a number of auditory and visual tasks of SSTM. The auditory memory tasks were designed to minimize the effect of auditory discrimination ability. Stimuli were chosen that children with cochlear implants could accurately identify with a reaction time similar to that of a control group of children with normal hearing (NH group). All children were also assessed on a receptive language test and on a nonverbal intelligence scale.

As expected, children using cochlear implants demonstrated poorer auditory and visual SSTM skills than their hearing peers when the stimuli were verbal or were pictures that could be readily labeled. They did not differ from their peers with normal hearing on tasks where the stimuli were less likely to be verbally encoded. An important finding was that the CI group did not appear to have a sequential memory deficit specific to the auditory modality. The difference scores (auditory minus visual memory performance) for the CI group were not significantly different from those for the NH group. SSTM performance accounted for significant variance in the receptive language performance of the CI group. However, a forward stepwise regression analysis revealed that visual spatial memory (one of the subtests of the nonverbal IQ test) was the main predictor of variance in the language scores of the children using cochlear implants.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by the Lions Club International, the Bionic Ear Institute, the Human Communication Research Centre, and the Garnett Passe and Rodney William Memorial Foundation. We extend sincere thanks to the parents of the children involved and the teachers at Solway State School, Taralye Early Intervention Program, Furlong Park School and Pre-School for Deaf Children, Princess Elizabeth Junior School, Mount View Hearing Impaired Facility, Pearcedale Hearing Impaired Facility, Eastwood Hearing Impaired Facility, Rosanna Park Hearing Impaired Facility, and St. Mary's School for Children With Impaired Hearing. We would like to thank Chris James for his assistance in recording and editing the speech stimuli and David Grayden for his assistance in software development. We also express our appreciation to Margaret Charlton, an educational psychologist working with deaf children, who supervised the administration and scoring of the nonverbal intelligence test.
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