Role of Visual Speech in Phonological Processing by Children With Hearing Loss Purpose This research assessed the influence of visual speech on phonological processing by children with hearing loss (HL). Method Children with HL and children with normal hearing (NH) named pictures while attempting to ignore auditory or audiovisual speech distractors whose onsets relative to the pictures were either congruent, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2009
Role of Visual Speech in Phonological Processing by Children With Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Susan Jerger
    University of Texas at Dallas, Callier Center for Communication Disorders and Central Institute for the Deaf at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • Nancy Tye-Murray
    Central Institute for the Deaf and Washington University School of Medicine, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Hervé Abdi
    University of Texas at Dallas
  • Contact author: Nancy Tye-Murray, Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology, Campus Box 8115, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63124. E-mail: MurrayN@ent.wustl.edu.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2009
Role of Visual Speech in Phonological Processing by Children With Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2009, Vol. 52, 412-434. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0021)
History: Received February 4, 2008 , Revised July 18, 2008 , Accepted September 2, 2008
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2009, Vol. 52, 412-434. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0021)
History: Received February 4, 2008; Revised July 18, 2008; Accepted September 2, 2008

Purpose This research assessed the influence of visual speech on phonological processing by children with hearing loss (HL).

Method Children with HL and children with normal hearing (NH) named pictures while attempting to ignore auditory or audiovisual speech distractors whose onsets relative to the pictures were either congruent, conflicting in place of articulation, or conflicting in voicing—for example, the picture “pizza” coupled with the distractors “peach,” “teacher,” or “beast,” respectively. Speed of picture naming was measured.

Results The conflicting conditions slowed naming, and phonological processing by children with HL displayed the age-related shift in sensitivity to visual speech seen in children with NH, although with developmental delay. Younger children with HL exhibited a disproportionately large influence of visual speech and a negligible influence of auditory speech, whereas older children with HL showed a robust influence of auditory speech with no benefit to performance from adding visual speech. The congruent conditions did not speed naming in children with HL, nor did the addition of visual speech influence performance. Unexpectedly, the /∧/-vowel congruent distractors slowed naming in children with HL and decreased articulatory proficiency.

Conclusions Results for the conflicting conditions are consistent with the hypothesis that speech representations in children with HL (a) are initially disproportionally structured in terms of visual speech and (b) become better specified with age in terms of auditorily encoded information.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant DC-00421. We thank Alice O’Toole for her generous advice and assistance in recording our audiovisual stimuli. We thank the children and parents who participated and the research staff who assisted, namely Elizabeth Mauze of Central Institute for the Deaf–Washington University; Shaumika Ball, Karen Banzon, Katie Battenfield, Sarah Joyce Bessonette, K. Meaghan Dougherty, Irma Garza, Stephanie Hirsch, Kelley Leach, Anne Pham, Lori Pressley, and Anastasia Villescas of University of Texas at Dallas (for data collection, analysis, and/or presentation); and Derek Hammons of University of Texas at Dallas and Brent Spehar of Central Institute for the Deaf–Washington University (for computer programming).
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