Infant-Directed Speech Enhances Attention to Speech in Deaf Infants With Cochlear Implants Purpose Both theoretical models of infant language acquisition and empirical studies posit important roles for attention to speech in early language development. However, deaf infants with cochlear implants (CIs) show reduced attention to speech as compared with their peers with normal hearing (NH; Horn, Davis, Pisoni, & Miyamoto, 2005; Houston, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 09, 2017
Infant-Directed Speech Enhances Attention to Speech in Deaf Infants With Cochlear Implants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Yuanyuan Wang
    Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Tonya R. Bergeson
    Communication Sciences and Disorders, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN
  • Derek M. Houston
    Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 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 Yuanyuan Wang: Yuanyuan.Wang@osumc.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun
    Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun×
  • Editor: Lori J. Leibold
    Editor: Lori J. Leibold×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 09, 2017
Infant-Directed Speech Enhances Attention to Speech in Deaf Infants With Cochlear Implants
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3321-3333. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-17-0149
History: Received April 19, 2017 , Revised June 2, 2017 , Accepted June 10, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3321-3333. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-17-0149
History: Received April 19, 2017; Revised June 2, 2017; Accepted June 10, 2017

Purpose Both theoretical models of infant language acquisition and empirical studies posit important roles for attention to speech in early language development. However, deaf infants with cochlear implants (CIs) show reduced attention to speech as compared with their peers with normal hearing (NH; Horn, Davis, Pisoni, & Miyamoto, 2005; Houston, Pisoni, Kirk, Ying, & Miyamoto, 2003), which may affect their acquisition of spoken language. The main purpose of this study was to determine (a) whether infant-directed speech (IDS) enhances attention to speech in infants with CIs, as compared with adult-directed speech (ADS), and (b) whether the degree to which infants with CIs pay attention to IDS is associated with later language outcomes.

Method We tested 46 infants—12 prelingually deaf infants who received CIs before 24 months of age and had 12 months of hearing experience (CI group), 22 hearing experience–matched infants with NH (NH-HEM group), and 12 chronological age–matched infants with NH (NH-CAM group)—on their listening preference in 3 randomized blocks: IDS versus silence, ADS versus silence, and IDS versus ADS. We administered the Preschool Language Scale–Fourth Edition (PLS-4; Zimmerman, Steiner, & Pond, 2002) approximately 18 months after implantation to assess receptive and expressive language skills of infants with CIs.

Results In the IDS versus silence block, all 3 groups looked significantly longer to IDS than to silence. In the ADS versus silence block, both the NH-HEM and NH-CAM groups looked significantly longer to ADS relative to silence; however, the CI group did not show any preference. In the IDS versus ADS block, whereas both the CI and NH-HEM groups preferred IDS over ADS, the NH-CAM group looked equally long to IDS and ADS. IDS preference quotient among infants with CIs in the IDS versus ADS block was associated with PLS-4 Auditory Comprehension and PLS-4 Expressive Communication measures.

Conclusions Two major findings emerge: (a) IDS enhances attention to speech in deaf infants with CIs; (b) the degree of IDS preference over ADS relates to language development in infants with CIs. These results support a focus on input in developing intervention strategies to mitigate the effects of hearing loss on language development in infants with hearing loss.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant (R01 DC008581) to Derek M. Houston and Laura C. Dilley.
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