Comparison of sustained auditory attention between children with cochlear implant and normal children
Background and Aim: Cochlear Implants (CIs) bypass a non-functional inner ear by a direct electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve. Compared to normal acoustic hearing, sounds transmitted through the CI are degraded and this electrical signal may change the attention capacity of children with CI. According to Kahneman’s model, the presence of CI input might trigger the allocation of limited-capacity central resources for attentional processing of this degraded input and lead to attentional deficiencies. The aim of this study was to compare sustained auditory attention between children with CI and normal children.
Methods: Eighteen children with unilateral CI in right ear and profound hearing loss in left ear with age of implantation under two years, and 40 normal hearing children were selected for this study. The age range of all the children was between 8 and 11 years. Each child in the normal group was tested twice; once binaural and once with left ear plugged. In order to compare sustained auditory attention between the groups, we used sustained auditory attention capacity test (SAACT) and calculated inattention, impulsive, reduction index, and total errors for each child.
Results: In the normal group, all mentioned test variables in binaural versus monaural were not significantly different. In CI group, the values of inattention, impulsive, and total errors were more than these errors in the normal group whether bilateral or unilateral (p<0.05).
Conclusion: There is a statistically significant difference in all SAAC test variables (inattention, impulsive, reduction index, and total errors) between normal and implant groups.
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