Article  |   April 2011
Hearing Loss Is Negatively Related to Episodic and Semantic Long-Term Memory but Not to Short-Term Memory
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jerker Rönnberg
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD (HEaring and Deafness), Linköping University, Sweden
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD (HEaring and Deafness), Linköping University, Sweden
  • Henrik Danielsson
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD (HEaring and Deafness), Linköping University, Sweden
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD (HEaring and Deafness), Linköping University, Sweden
  • Mary Rudner
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD (HEaring and Deafness), Linköping University, Sweden
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD (HEaring and Deafness), Linköping University, Sweden
  • Stig Arlinger
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD (HEaring and Deafness), Linköping University, Sweden
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD (HEaring and Deafness), Linköping University, Sweden
  • Ola Sternäng
    Stockholm University, Sweden
    Stockholm University, Sweden
  • Åke Wahlin
    Stockholm University, Sweden
    Stockholm University, Sweden
  • Lars-Göran Nilsson
    Stockholm University, Sweden
    Stockholm University, Sweden
  • Correspondence to Jerker Rönnberg: Jerker.Ronnberg@liu.se
  • Editor: Robert Schlauch
    Editor: Robert Schlauch×
  • Associate Editor: Stanley Gelfand
    Associate Editor: Stanley Gelfand×
Hearing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing
Article   |   April 2011
Hearing Loss Is Negatively Related to Episodic and Semantic Long-Term Memory but Not to Short-Term Memory
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research April 2011, Vol.54, 705-726. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0088)
History: Accepted 14 Sep 2010 , Received 08 May 2009 , Revised 24 Feb 2010
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research April 2011, Vol.54, 705-726. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0088)
History: Accepted 14 Sep 2010 , Received 08 May 2009 , Revised 24 Feb 2010

Purpose: To test the relationship between degree of hearing loss and different memory systems in hearing aid users.

Method: Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to study the relationship between auditory and visual acuity and different cognitive and memory functions in an age-hetereogenous subsample of 160 hearing aid users without dementia, drawn from the Swedish prospective cohort aging study known as Betula (L.-G. Nilsson et al., 1997).

Results: Hearing loss was selectively and negatively related to episodic and semantic long-term memory (LTM) but not short-term memory (STM) performance. This held true for both ears, even when age was accounted for. Visual acuity alone, or in combination with auditory acuity, did not contribute to any acceptable SEM solution.

Conclusions: The overall relationships between hearing loss and memory systems were predicted by the ease of language understanding model (J. Rönnberg, 2003), but the exact mechanisms of episodic memory decline in hearing aid users (i.e., mismatch/disuse, attentional resources, or information degradation) remain open for further experiments. The hearing aid industry should strive to design signal processing algorithms that are cognition friendly.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access

Related Articles

Coordinator’s Column
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics December 2012, Vol.16, 35-36. doi:10.1044/hhd16.2.35
Vocabulary and Working Memory in Children Fit With Hearing Aids
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research February 2012, Vol.55, 154-167. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0021)
Coordinator’s Column
SIG 9 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood December 2011, Vol.21, 39-40. doi:10.1044/hhdc21.2.39
Coordinator’s Column
SIG 7 Perspectives on Aural Rehabilitation and Its Instrumentation October 2013, Vol.20, 41-43. doi:10.1044/arii20.2.41
Adult Hearing Screening: Health Policy Issues—What Happens Next?
American Journal of Audiology June 2013, Vol.22, 167-170. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0062)