The primary objective of this research project is to identify the reciprocal links between EF and spoken language skills in early-implanted prelingually deaf CI users. Our program of research has demonstrated that oral-deaf cochlear implant users are at risk for delays in several components of executive functioning and that their executive functioning skills are related to their speech and language outcomes in ways that differ from NH peers.
Two specific aims are proposed to accomplish our research objectives and provide new information about the reciprocal links between executive functioning and spoken language skills in oral-deaf children who use cochlear implants.
In Specific Aim 1, experimental and assessment methods will be applied to a sample of long-term cochlear implant users in two studies to identify the cognitive processing mechanisms by which components of executive functioning support compensation of speech-language skills that are slow and effortful in cochlear implant users, compared to normal-hearing peers. Studies will provide new information about the use of executive functions to compensate for slow-effortful processing in speech perception as well as robust, complex-adaptive spoken word recognition and language.
In Specific Aim 2, preschool-aged oral- deaf children with cochlear implants will be studied longitudinally to examine the reciprocal influences of EF and spoken language skills early in their development. Experimental methods will be used to document influences of spoken language skills on the emergence of early executive functioning components in children as young as age 3, comparing differences in executive functioning development in samples of children with cochlear implants and children with normal hearing. Additionally, longitudinal methods will be used to assess relations between early executive functioning and later development of complex-adaptive spoken language skills in cochlear implant users. These findings will have direct clinical implications for improving early identification of prelingually deaf, early implanted cochlear implant users who may be at high risk for poor neurocognitive and speech-language outcomes following cochlear implantation. By uncovering the foundational processes by which specific EF components support compensation of speech-language disturbances and delays in a sample of CI users, results of this research will identify novel targets and methods for intervention to improve spoken language outcomes by modifying compensatory EF processes.
/Relevance The primary objective of this research project is to identify the reciprocal links between EF and spoken language processing skills in early-implanted prelingually deaf cochlear implant users. The proposed research will use experimental, assessment, and longitudinal designs to measure and systematically vary specific components of executive functioning and spoken language skills adversely impacted by a period of auditory deprivation, comparing cochlear implant users to normal-hearing peers. Findings from this project will have direct clinical implications for improving spoken language skills by identifying the processing-level mechanisms by which specific executive functioning components support compensation for speech-language delays and disturbances in this clinical population.
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|Pisoni, David B; Kronenberger, William G; Harris, Michael S et al. (2017) Three challenges for future research on cochlear implants. World J Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg 3:240-254|