Deaf Children With Cochlear Implants Do Not Appear to Use Sentence Context to Help Recognize Spoken Words Purpose The authors investigated the ability of deaf children with cochlear implants (CIs) to use sentence context to facilitate the perception of spoken words. Method Deaf children with CIs (n = 24) and an age-matched group of children with normal hearing (n = 31) were presented with lexically ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2014
Deaf Children With Cochlear Implants Do Not Appear to Use Sentence Context to Help Recognize Spoken Words
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christopher M. Conway
    Georgia State University, Atlanta
  • Joanne A. Deocampo
    Georgia State University, Atlanta
  • Anne M. Walk
    Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO
  • Esperanza M. Anaya
    Midwestern University, Dowers Grove, IL
  • David B. Pisoni
    Indiana University Bloomington
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Christopher M. Conway: cconway@gsu.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Ann Geers
    Associate Editor: Ann Geers×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2014
Deaf Children With Cochlear Implants Do Not Appear to Use Sentence Context to Help Recognize Spoken Words
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2014, Vol. 57, 2174-2190. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-L-13-0236
History: Received August 30, 2013 , Revised May 30, 2014 , Accepted June 17, 2014
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2014, Vol. 57, 2174-2190. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-L-13-0236
History: Received August 30, 2013; Revised May 30, 2014; Accepted June 17, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose The authors investigated the ability of deaf children with cochlear implants (CIs) to use sentence context to facilitate the perception of spoken words.

Method Deaf children with CIs (n = 24) and an age-matched group of children with normal hearing (n = 31) were presented with lexically controlled sentences and were asked to repeat each sentence in its entirety. Performance was analyzed at each of 3 word positions of each sentence (first, second, and third key word).

Results Whereas the children with normal hearing showed robust effects of contextual facilitation—improved speech perception for the final words in a sentence—the deaf children with CIs on average showed no such facilitation. Regression analyses indicated that for the deaf children with CIs, Forward Digit Span scores significantly predicted accuracy scores for all 3 positions, whereas performance on the Stroop Color and Word Test, Children's Version (Golden, Freshwater, & Golden, 2003) predicted how much contextual facilitation was observed at the final word.

Conclusions The pattern of results suggests that some deaf children with CIs do not use sentence context to improve spoken word recognition. The inability to use sentence context may be due to possible interactions between language experience and cognitive factors that affect the ability to successfully integrate temporal–sequential information in spoken language.

Acknowledgments
This project was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants R01DC012037, T32DC00012, R01DC00111, and R01DC009581.
We thank Laurie Eisenberg and her colleagues at the House Institute for providing us with the original audio recordings of the stimulus materials used in this study. We also thank the following people for their vital assistance with this project: Shirley Henning, Jennifer Karpicke, and Luis Hernandez. We also thank Robert Latzman for helpful comments. Finally, we especially thank all of the children and parents who participated in this study.
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