P65 Temporal processing and speech perception in noise among children using cochlear implant
Introduction: Temporal processing, one of the important constituents of auditory processing is affected in persons with hearing impairment. Attempts have been made to compensate for these deficits through hearing devices such as cochlear implants (CI) [Shannon, 1989, JASA 85(6):2587; Won et al., 2011, JASA 130(1):376].
Rationale: Most often the temporal processing and speech perception based studies are reported in adults using CI [Hochmair-Desoyer et al., 1985, Cochlear Implants (Raven Press NY), p271; Moore and Glasberg, 1988, JASA 83(3):1093; Winn et al., 2016, Ear Hear. 37(6):e377] and there is dearth of such studies in children using CI [Landsberger et al., 2019, Otol. Neurotol. 40(3):e311]. There is a need to study these in children to investigate the effect of maturation on the same.
Objective: The present study aimed at investigating the performance on speech perception in noise and temporal cues based speech discrimination tests in children using CI.
Methods: Participants included 10 children with normal hearing and 10 children using unilateral cochlear implant, in the age range of 4 to 8 years. Children using cochlear implant had pre-lingual hearing loss and the implant age of ≥1 year with CI assisted threshold ≤30 dB HL. Revised speech perception test in noise for Marathi speaking children (SPTN-M) was performed at 60 dB SPL. The test consists of bisyllabic words in Marathi presented with four talker babble at 5 dB SNR. Syllable categorization of a temporal cue-based task (/ba/ vs /pa/) was performed by manipulating voice onset time between -79ms to 26ms in ten steps continuum as recommended by Winn et al. (2016). Stimuli for both the tests were presented through speakers of a laptop. The participants were seated at 1 ft distance from the loudspeaker placed at 0-degree azimuth.
Results and Discussion: Non-parametric statistics was performed as Shapiro-Wilk test revealed non-normal distribution of data. The performance of children with CI was poorer than those of children with normal hearing for both the tests. Mann Whitney U test revealed significant difference observed was statistically significant for both SPTN-M and syllable categorization. This may be attributed to various limiting factors among children using CI and further needs to be studied to understand the causative factor/s resulting it [Caldwell & Nittrouer, 2013, JSHLR 36(1):13]. Among children using cochlear implant, a strong correlation was observed between SPTN-M scores and syllable categorization [rs(8) =-0.822, p=0.000]. This may be because both the tasks are dependent on the usage of temporal cues (Landsberger et al., 2019; Caldwell and Nittrouer, 2013).
Conclusions: Perception of temporal cues and speech perception in noise is poorer in children using CI when compared to children with normal hearing. There is a strong correlation between ability to perceive temporal cues and speech perception in noise.