Neurocognitive processes such as executive functioning (EF) may influence the development of speech-language skills in deaf children after cochlear implantation in ways that differ from normal-hearing, typically developing children. Conversely, spoken language abilities and experiences may also exert reciprocal effects on the development of EF. The purpose of this study was to identify EF domains that are related to speech-language skills in cochlear implant (CI) users, compared to normal-hearing peers. Sixty-four prelingually deaf, early-implanted, long-term users of CIs and 74 normal-hearing peers equivalent in age and nonverbal intelligence completed measures of speech-language skills and three domains of EF: working memory, fluency-speed, and inhibitionconcentration. Verbal working memory and fluency-speed were more strongly associated with speech-language outcomes in the CI users than in the normal-hearing peers. Spatial working memory and inhibition-concentration correlated positively with language skills in normal-hearing peers but not in CI users. The core domains of EF that are associated with spoken language development are different in long-term CI users compared to normal-hearing peers, suggesting important dissociations in neurocognitive development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Speech and Hearing