Can a Test of Visual Memory Help Predict Success in Post-Lingually Deaf Adults Receiving Cochlear Implants?
Wichert, Kristin M.
Hemmerich, Abby L.
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Individuals with significant hearing loss may elect to receive a cochlear implant (CI), which can restore some hearing capabilities. There is considerable variability of short- and long-term speech perception outcomes in patients that cannot be explained solely by their age and prior hearing status. Clinicians are challenged to identify clients who may be at a higher risk for poor outcomes prior to the invasive implantation procedure. Recent studies have shown that working memory may play a role in the deficits faced by hearing impaired individuals. The purpose of this study was to examine tests of visual working memory as predictors of speech perception outcomes in individuals with CI. Visual working memory tasks were chosen to isolate the potential memory deficits from other audibility factors. Thirty-two CI users participated in the study, completing a battery of assessments for visual working memory and speech perception skills. Preliminary results suggest that these visual memory tasks are positively correlated with speech perception outcomes, which could help care teams, including speech-language pathologists, develop assessment protocols to better predict outcomes prior to CI and to assist in the development of targeted, individualized aural rehabilitation strategies following CI.
Visual working memory
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
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