Age-Related Benefits of Digital Noise Reduction for Short-Term Word Learning in Children With Hearing Loss PurposeTo determine the rate of word learning for children with hearing loss (HL) in quiet and in noise compared to normal-hearing (NH) peers. The effects of digital noise reduction (DNR) were examined for children with HL.MethodForty-one children with NH and 26 children with HL were grouped by age (8–9 years ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2011
Age-Related Benefits of Digital Noise Reduction for Short-Term Word Learning in Children With Hearing Loss
 
Author Notes
  • Correspondence to Andrea Pittman: andrea.pittman@asu.edu
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Pam Souza
    Associate Editor: Pam Souza×
Article Information
Development / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing
Article   |   October 01, 2011
Age-Related Benefits of Digital Noise Reduction for Short-Term Word Learning in Children With Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2011, Vol. 54, 1448-1463. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0341)
History: Received December 7, 2010 , Revised February 28, 2011 , Accepted March 16, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2011, Vol. 54, 1448-1463. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0341)
History: Received December 7, 2010; Revised February 28, 2011; Accepted March 16, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

PurposeTo determine the rate of word learning for children with hearing loss (HL) in quiet and in noise compared to normal-hearing (NH) peers. The effects of digital noise reduction (DNR) were examined for children with HL.

MethodForty-one children with NH and 26 children with HL were grouped by age (8–9 years and 11–12 years). The children learned novel words associated with novel objects through a process of trial and error. Functions relating performance across trials were calculated for each child in each listening condition and were compared.

ResultsSignificant effects were observed for age (older > younger) in the children with NH and listening condition (quiet > noise) in the children with HL. Significant effects of hearing status were also observed across groups (NH > HL), indicating that the children with HL required more trials to learn the new words. However, word learning improved significantly in noise with the use of DNR for the older but not for the younger children with HL. Hearing aid history and signal-to-noise ratio did not contribute to performance.

ConclusionWord learning was significantly reduced in younger children, in noise, and in the presence of hearing loss. Age-related benefits of DNR were apparent for children over 10 years of age.

Acknowledgments
Sincere thanks are extended to Samantha Gustafson, Sara Bos, Kristi Petersen, Devin Anderson, and Christine Page for their help during data collection and analysis; Bob Fanning and Tom Powers for their help with early versions of the article; Bill Cole for his assistance with hearing aid analyses; Lylis Olsen, Shelby Willa, and the audiologists at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Children’s Rehabilitative Services for their help with participant recruitment; and, most of all, the children and their families for sharing their precious time. This study was funded by a grant from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Foundation (Clinical Research Award).
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