Use of Acoustic Cues by Children With Cochlear Implants PurposeThis study examined the use of different acoustic cues in auditory perception of consonant and vowel contrasts by profoundly deaf children with a cochlear implant (CI) in comparison to age-matched children and young adults with normal hearing.MethodA speech sound categorization task in an XAB format was administered to 15 children ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2010
Use of Acoustic Cues by Children With Cochlear Implants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marcel R. Giezen
    Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Paola Escudero
    Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Anne Baker
    Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Contact author: Marcel Giezen, ATW, Spuistraat 210, 1012 VT Amsterdam, the Netherlands. E-mail: m.r.giezen@uva.nl.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Hearing
Article   |   December 01, 2010
Use of Acoustic Cues by Children With Cochlear Implants
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2010, Vol. 53, 1440-1457. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0252)
History: Received November 20, 2009 , Revised March 31, 2010 , Accepted April 22, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2010, Vol. 53, 1440-1457. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0252)
History: Received November 20, 2009; Revised March 31, 2010; Accepted April 22, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 12

PurposeThis study examined the use of different acoustic cues in auditory perception of consonant and vowel contrasts by profoundly deaf children with a cochlear implant (CI) in comparison to age-matched children and young adults with normal hearing.

MethodA speech sound categorization task in an XAB format was administered to 15 children ages 5–6 with a CI (mean age at implant: 1;8 [years;months]), 20 normal-hearing age-matched children, and 21 normal-hearing adults. Four contrasts were examined: /ɑ/–/a/, /i/–/i/, /bu/–/pu/, and /fu/–/su/. Measures included phoneme endpoint identification, individual cue reliance, cue weighting, and classification slope.

ResultsThe children with a CI used the spectral cues in the /fu/–/su/ contrast less effectively than the children with normal hearing, resulting in poorer phoneme endpoint identification and a shallower classification slope. Performance on the other 3 contrasts did not differ significantly. Adults consistently showed steeper classification slopes than the children, but similar cue-weighting patterns were observed in all 3 groups.

ConclusionsDespite their different auditory input, children with a CI appear to be able to use many acoustic cues effectively in speech perception. Most importantly, children with a CI and normal-hearing children were observed to use similar cue-weighting patterns.

Acknowledgments
We are very grateful to the children and their parents who were willing to participate in this study as well as to the adults who participated. We acknowledge Leo de Raeve of the Koninklijk Instituut voor Doven en Slechthorenden (Hasselt, Belgium) and Noelle Uilenburg of the Nederlandse Stichting voor het Dove en Slechthorende Kind (Amsterdam) for their continuous support during this study. We also thank Ellen Gerrits, Mieke Beers, Jan de Jong, and Beppie van den Bogaerde for their assistance in the preparation of this article.
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