Impact Factor


Front. Psychol., 14 May 2013 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00263

Training to improve language outcomes in cochlear implant recipients

  • 1Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
  • 3Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China

Cochlear implants (CI) have brought with them hearing ability for many prelingually deafened children. Advances in CI technology have brought not only hearing ability but speech perception to these same children. Concurrent with the development of speech perception has come spoken language development, and one goal now is that prelingually deafened CI recipient children will develop spoken language capabilities on par with those of normal hearing (NH) children. This goal has not been met purely on the basis of the technology, and many CI recipient children lag behind their NH peers with large variability in outcomes, requiring further behavioral intervention. It is likely that CI recipient children struggle to develop spoken language at NH-like levels because they have deficits in both auditory and cognitive skills that underlie the development of language. Fortunately, both the auditory and cognitive training literature indicate an improvement of auditory and cognitive functioning following training. It therefore stands to reason that if training improves the auditory and cognitive skills that support language learning, language development itself should also improve. In the present manuscript we will review the auditory and cognitive training and their potential impact on speech outcomes with an emphasis on the speech perception literature.

Keywords: prelingual deafness, cochlear implant, language learning, auditory training, cognitive training

Citation: Ingvalson EM and Wong PCM (2013) Training to improve language outcomes in cochlear implant recipients. Front. Psychol. 4:263. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00263

Received: 23 January 2013; Accepted: 22 April 2013;
Published online: 14 May 2013.

Edited by:

Pascal Belin, University of Glasgow, UK

Reviewed by:

Fatima T. Husain, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Jessica Phillips-Silver, International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound, Canada

Copyright: © 2013 Ingvalson and Wong. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Patrick C. M. Wong, Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Room G03, Leung Kau Kui Building, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong SAR, China. e-mail: p.wong@cuhk.edu.hk