Nonword Repetition by Children With Cochlear Implants Accuracy Ratings From Normal-Hearing Listeners Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2004
Nonword Repetition by Children With Cochlear Implants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rose A. Burkholder
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Miranda Cleary
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • David B. Pisoni
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: pisoni@indiana.edu
  • Contact author: David Pisoni, PhD, Speech Research Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. E-mail: pisoni@indiana.edu
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2004
Nonword Repetition by Children With Cochlear Implants
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2004, Vol. 47, 1103-1116. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/082)
History: Received September 30, 2002 , Revised May 15, 2003 , Accepted January 5, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2004, Vol. 47, 1103-1116. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/082)
History: Received September 30, 2002; Revised May 15, 2003; Accepted January 5, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 21

Seventy-six children with cochlear implants completed a nonword repetition task. The children were presented with 20 nonword auditory patterns over a loud-speaker and were asked to repeat them aloud to the experimenter. The children's responses were recorded on digital audiotape and then played back to normal-hearing adult listeners to obtain accuracy ratings on a 7-point scale. The children's nonword repetition performance, as measured by these perceptual accuracy ratings, could be predicted in large part by their performance on independently collected measures of speech perception, verbal rehearsal speed, and speech production. The strongest contributing variable was speaking rate, which is widely argued to reflect verbal rehearsal speed in phonological working memory. Children who had become deaf at older ages received higher perceptual ratings. Children whose early linguistic experience and educational environments emphasized oral communication methods received higher perceptual ratings than children enrolled in total communication programs. The present findings suggest that individual differences in performance on nonword repetition are strongly related to variability observed in the component processes involved in language imitation tasks, including measures of speech perception, speech production, and especially verbal rehearsal speed in phonological working memory. In addition, onset of deafness at a later age and an educational environment emphasizing oral communication may be beneficial to the children's ability to develop the robust phonological processing skills necessary to accurately repeat novel, nonword sound patterns.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Research Grant DC00111 and Training Grant DC00012 to Indiana University. We would like to extend our thanks to Ann Geers and the research staff at Central Institute of the Deaf in St. Louis, MO, for testing the cochlear implant users and making the data available to us for this study. We are also grateful to Emily Tobey and her research team at Callier Advanced Hearing Research Center at the University of Texas, Dallas, for providing the McGarr intelligibility and duration data. In addition, we would like to thank Sujuan Gao, who supplied assistance with the statistical analyses.
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