Speech Perception in Noise by Children With Cochlear Implants PurposeCommon wisdom suggests that listening in noise poses disproportionately greater difficulty for listeners with cochlear implants (CIs) than for peers with normal hearing (NH). The purpose of this study was to examine phonological, language, and cognitive skills that might help explain speech-in-noise abilities for children with CIs.MethodThree groups of kindergartners ... Article
Article  |   February 01, 2013
Speech Perception in Noise by Children With Cochlear Implants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Amanda Caldwell
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Susan Nittrouer
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Correspondence to Amanda Caldwell: amanda.caldwell@osumc.edu
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Emily Tobey
    Associate Editor: Emily Tobey×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Hearing
Article   |   February 01, 2013
Speech Perception in Noise by Children With Cochlear Implants
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2013, Vol. 56, 13-30. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0338)
History: Received December 8, 2011 , Accepted June 1, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2013, Vol. 56, 13-30. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0338)
History: Received December 8, 2011; Accepted June 1, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 29

PurposeCommon wisdom suggests that listening in noise poses disproportionately greater difficulty for listeners with cochlear implants (CIs) than for peers with normal hearing (NH). The purpose of this study was to examine phonological, language, and cognitive skills that might help explain speech-in-noise abilities for children with CIs.

MethodThree groups of kindergartners (NH, hearing aid wearers, and CI users) were tested on speech recognition in quiet and noise and on tasks thought to underlie the abilities that fit into the domains of phonological awareness, general language, and cognitive skills. These last measures were used as predictor variables in regression analyses with speech-in-noise scores as dependent variables.

ResultsCompared to children with NH, children with CIs did not perform as well on speech recognition in noise or on most other measures, including recognition in quiet. Two surprising results were that (a) noise effects were consistent across groups and (b) scores on other measures did not explain any group differences in speech recognition.

ConclusionsLimitations of implant processing take their primary toll on recognition in quiet and account for poor speech recognition and language/phonological deficits in children with CIs. Implications are that teachers/clinicians need to teach language/phonology directly and maximize signal-to-noise levels in the classroom.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by Grant R01 DC006237 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders to Susan Nittrouer. We thank Daniel Burry, Joanna Lowenstein, Eric Tarr, and Puisan Wong for help with stimulus development and data collection, and Caitlin Rice for help with manuscript preparation.
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