Visual Attention in Children With Normal Hearing, Children With Hearing Aids, and Children With Cochlear Implants

Tharpe, Anne Marie; Ashmead, Daniel H.; Rothpletz, Ann M.
April 2002
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Apr2002, Vol. 45 Issue 2, p403
Academic Journal
Previous studies have reported both positive and negative effects of deafness on visual attention. The purpose of this study was to replicate and expand findings of previous studies by examining visual attention abilities in children with deafness and children with normal hearing. Twenty-eight children, ages 8-14 years, were evaluated. There were two groups of children with prelingual deafness and one group with normal hearing. The children with deafness were divided further into two groups: those with cochlear implants and those with conventional hearing aids. Unlike previous studies, the current study found no substantial differences in performance among these three groups of children on a continuous-performance visual attention task or on a letter cancellation task. Children in all three groups performed very well on the visual attention tasks. Furthermore, there was little association between performance on the visual attention tasks and parent or teacher ratings of behavior and attention. Age and nonverbal intelligence were significantly correlated with performance on visual attention tasks. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed, along with directions for future research.


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