Children with Congenital Deafness, Cochlear Implants (CIs), and Auditory Learning
Mishra, Boddupally, and Rayapati (2015) evaluated 27 children with congenital deafness who received cochlear implants to examine and characterize training-induced changes in speech-in-noise (SIN) perception. Thirteen children and 5 adults with normal hearing were also evaluated. Of note, 13 children with cochlear implants were trained (40 hours of training over 5 weeks) and 14 children with CIs were not trained.
Mishra et al report that the SIN performance of the children who had training improved and was retained (at least three weeks, post-training). They report multiple significant implications, “certain aspects of the auditory learning capacity are preserved in children who are born deaf, and learning can occur if CIs are implanted early in life, despite the brain receiving spectrally coarse inputs from only one ear, and perceptual learning can enhance speech-in-noise perception even in clinically good CI users….” Further, they report that “children with congenital deafness who have CIs could learn (through training) to better understand SIN…” and importantly, trained children were able to apply what they learned to non-identical tasks. That is, training had carry over to other non-trained situations.
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Mishra SK, Boddupally SP, Rayapati D. (2015) Auditory Learning in Children with Cochlear Implants. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 58:1052-1060.