Comparison between sustained auditory attention capacity in blind and normal children
Background and Aim: Attention is an important cognitive process that is necessary for educational purposes. Blind people are deprived from the most widely used human sense, the sense of vision. There are reports that blind individuals have a significantly better performance in attentional tasks, as compared with normal subjects. The purpose of this study was to evaluate sustained auditory attention capacity of Persian blind children aged 8 to 10 years.
Methods: This study was performed on 60 blind children (50 boys) aged 8 to 10 years. The control group consisted of 60 normal children (49 boys) at the same age of the test group. In this study sustained auditory attention capacity test (SAACT), otoscopy, Edinburgh and audiometry tests were used. For statistical analysis non-parametric Mann-Whitney U and Chi square tests at p=0.05 significance level were used.
Results: There was a significant difference in total score of sustained auditory attention capacity test (p=0.038) and Impulsiveness error between blind and normal children (p<0.001). Blind subjects had fewer impulsiveness errors and lower total score. Considering inattentive error (p=1.00) and attention reduction span index (p=0.301), there was no significant difference between the groups.
Conclusion: It seems that sustained auditory attention capacity in blind Persian children is larger than age-matched normal group. This can indicate sort of sensory compensation after loss of vision early in life.
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