Development of pre-word-learning skills in infants with cochlear implants

Derek M. Houston, Elizabeth A. Ying, David Pisoni, Karen Iler Kirk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Families of infants who are congenitally deaf now have the option of cochlear implantation at a very young age. In order to assess the effectiveness of early cochlear implantation, however, new behavioral procedures are needed to measure speech perception and language skills during infancy. One important component of language development is word learning - a complex skill that involves learning arbitrary relations between words and their referents. A precursor to word learning is the ability to perceive and encode intersensory relations between co-occurring auditory and visual events. Recent studies in infants with normal hearing have shown that intersensory redundancies, such as temporal synchrony, can facilitate the ability to learn arbitrary pairings between speech sounds and objects (Gogate & Bahrick, 1998). To investigate the early stages of learning arbitrary pairings of sounds and objects after cochlear implantation, we used the Preferential Looking Paradigm (PLP) to assess infants' ability to associate speech sounds to objects that moved in temporal synchrony with the onset and offsets of the signals. Children with normal hearing ranging in age from 6, 9, 18, and 30 months served as controls and demonstrated the ability to learn arbitrary pairings between temporally synchronous speech sounds and dynamic visual events. Infants who received their cochlear implants (CIs) at earlier ages (7-15 months of age) performed similarly to the infants with normal hearing after about 2-6 months of CI experience. In contrast, infants who received their implants at later ages (16-25 months of age) did not demonstrate learning of the associations within the context of this experiment. Possible implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-326
Number of pages24
JournalVolta Review
Volume103
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

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Cochlear Implants
infant
Aptitude
Learning
Cochlear Implantation
Phonetics
Hearing
learning
ability
Association Learning
Language Development
Speech Perception
event
redundancy
language
Word Learning
Cochlear Implant
Language
paradigm
experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies

Cite this

Houston, D. M., Ying, E. A., Pisoni, D., & Kirk, K. I. (2001). Development of pre-word-learning skills in infants with cochlear implants. Volta Review, 103(4), 303-326.

Development of pre-word-learning skills in infants with cochlear implants. / Houston, Derek M.; Ying, Elizabeth A.; Pisoni, David; Kirk, Karen Iler.

In: Volta Review, Vol. 103, No. 4, 2001, p. 303-326.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Houston, DM, Ying, EA, Pisoni, D & Kirk, KI 2001, 'Development of pre-word-learning skills in infants with cochlear implants', Volta Review, vol. 103, no. 4, pp. 303-326.
Houston, Derek M. ; Ying, Elizabeth A. ; Pisoni, David ; Kirk, Karen Iler. / Development of pre-word-learning skills in infants with cochlear implants. In: Volta Review. 2001 ; Vol. 103, No. 4. pp. 303-326.
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