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

3aSP8. Lexical influences on speech perception by children with multichannel cochlear implants.

Karen I. Kirk

Mary Joe Osberger

Susan L. Todd

Amy M. Robbins

Allyson I. Riley

Indiana Univ. School of Medicine, Dept. of Otolaryngol., Indianapolis, IN 46202

This study examined lexical effects on word recognition by children with multichannel cochlear implants. Based on computational analyses, word lists were constructed to allow systematic examination of the effects of word frequency, lexical density (i.e., the number of phonemically similar words, or neighbors), mean neighborhood word frequency, and word length. The percent of words correctly identified was significantly higher for lexically ``easy'' words (high frequency words with few neighbors) than for ``hard'' words (low frequency words with many neighbors). The percent of phonemes correctly identified did not differ between the ``easy'' and ``hard'' words, suggesting that phoneme scores do not accurately reflect word recognition. Word recognition scores were also better for multisyllabic than for monosyllabic words. These results demonstrate that children with multichannel cochlear implants systematically organize words in long-term lexical memory using processes similar to listeners with normal hearing. Lexical effects will also be examined on a longitudinal basis to determine if performance increases with implant use. [Work supported by NIH.]

Precis presentations will be held in the Kresge Little Theatre from 8:10 to 9:50 a.m. followed by poster displays in Kresge Rehearsal Room B. Posters will be on display from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. To allow contributors an opportunity to see other posters, contributors of odd-numbered posters will be at their posters from 10:00 a.m. to 10:55 a.m. and contributors of even-numbered posters will be at their posters from 10:55 a.m. to 12:00 noon.