Working Memory Training for Children With Cochlear Implants: A Pilot Study PurposeThis study investigated the feasibility and efficacy of a working memory training program for improving memory and language skills in a sample of 9 children who are deaf (age 7–15 years) with cochlear implants (CIs).MethodAll children completed the Cogmed Working Memory Training program on a home computer over a 5-week ... Article
Article  |   August 01, 2011
Working Memory Training for Children With Cochlear Implants: A Pilot Study
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • William G. Kronenberger
    Riley Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic/Department of Psychiatry, Indianapolis, IN
    Riley Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic/Department of Psychiatry, Indianapolis, IN
  • David B. Pisoni
    DeVault Otologic Research Laboratory/Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
    DeVault Otologic Research Laboratory/Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
  • Shirley C. Henning
    DeVault Otologic Research Laboratory/Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
    DeVault Otologic Research Laboratory/Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
  • Bethany G. Colson
    DeVault Otologic Research Laboratory/Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
    DeVault Otologic Research Laboratory/Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
  • Lindsey M. Hazzard
    Riley Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic/Department of Psychiatry, Indianapolis, IN
    Riley Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic/Department of Psychiatry, Indianapolis, IN
  • Correspondence to William G. Kronenberger: wkronenb@iupui.edu
  • Editor: Anne Smith
    Editor: Anne Smith×
  • Associate Editor: Susan Nittrouer
    Associate Editor: Susan Nittrouer×
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing
Article   |   August 01, 2011
Working Memory Training for Children With Cochlear Implants: A Pilot Study
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2011, Vol. 54, 1182-1196. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/10-0119)
History: Received May 4, 2010 , Revised October 6, 2010 , Accepted December 2, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2011, Vol. 54, 1182-1196. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/10-0119)
History: Received May 4, 2010; Revised October 6, 2010; Accepted December 2, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 51

PurposeThis study investigated the feasibility and efficacy of a working memory training program for improving memory and language skills in a sample of 9 children who are deaf (age 7–15 years) with cochlear implants (CIs).

MethodAll children completed the Cogmed Working Memory Training program on a home computer over a 5-week period. Feasibility and acceptability of the program were evaluated using parent report and measures of children’s performance on the training exercises. Efficacy measures of working memory and sentence repetition were obtained prior to training, immediately after training, and 1 month and 6 months after training.

ResultsChildren’s performance improved on most training exercises, and parents reported no problems with children’s hearing or understanding of the exercises. After completion of working memory training, children demonstrated significant improvement on measures of verbal and nonverbal working memory, parent-reported working memory behavior, and sentence-repetition skills. The magnitude of improvement in working memory decreased slightly at the 1-month follow-up and more substantially at 6-month follow-up. However, sentence repetition continued to show marked improvement at 6-month follow-up.

ConclusionsWorking memory training may produce benefit for some memory and language skills for children with CIs, supporting the importance of conducting a large-scale, randomized clinical trial with this population.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by an Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Research Support Funds Grant to William G. Kronenberger and by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants R01 DC-00111-31 and R01 DC-009581-01 to David B. Pisoni. Portions of this study were presented at the 12th Symposium on Cochlear Implants in Children in Seattle, WA (June 2009) and at the Cogmed Conference in Austin, TX (November 2009).
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