ASA 127th Meeting M.I.T. 1994 June 6-10

3aSP4. Speech perception and production results in children with multichannel cochlear implants.

Mary Joe Osberger

Dept. of Otolaryngol., Indiana Univ. School of Medicine, Riley Res., Rm. 044, Indianapolis, IN 46202

The results from a number of studies in our laboratory will be presented to demonstrate the benefits that children with profound hearing impairments derive from multichannel cochlear implants. The performance of children with cochlear implants has been evaluated over time and compared to that of children who used conventional hearing aids, grouped according to unaided thresholds. Results showed that speech perception and production skills developed over a time course as long as 5 years in children with prelingual deafness who received multichannel cochlear implants. After roughly 3 years, the scores of prelingually deafened children with multichannel implants were higher than those of children with hearing aids with unaided thresholds of 101--110 dB HL and similar to those of children with unaided thresholds of 90--100 dB HL. New research directions involve examination of lexical effects on word recognition in multichannel implant users. Data suggest that pediatric cochlear implant users are sensitive to the acoustic-phonetic similarities among words, that they organize words into similarity neighborhoods in long-term lexical memory, and that they use this structural information in recognizing isolated words. [Work supported by NIH.]