Digit span recall error analysis in pediatric cochlear implant users

R. Burkholder, D. Pisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


The errors made by 37 pediatric cochlear implant users and age-matched normal-hearing children during forward and backward digit span recall were analyzed. All children were between 8 and 10 years old. The children who used implants had at least 4.5 years of experience with their device. Error classification was made using four categories: item, order, omission, or combination errors. Recall of digits not presented on a given trial was classified as item errors. The recall of all correct digits in an incorrect order was considered to be an order error. Results from a univariate ANOVA revealed main effects for error type, recall condition, and hearing ability. In addition, the error type by recall condition interaction revealed that order errors increased more in backward digit span recall than any other type of error for both normal-hearing children and children with cochlear implants. The present results are consistent with previous studies, suggesting that the shorter digit spans of children using cochlear implants are not primarily related to perceptual difficulties but appear to reflect memory processing problems related to slower subvocal verbal rehearsal and serial scanning of items in short-term memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-315
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Congress Series
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004


  • Cochlear implant
  • Deafness
  • Memory
  • Speech perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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