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Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience

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Purpose: Cochlear implantation has recently become available as an intervention strategy for young children with profound hearing impairment. In fact, infants as young as 6 months are now receiving cochlear implants (CIs), and even younger infants are being fitted with hearing aids (HAs). Because early audiovisual experience may be important for normal development of speech perception, it is important to investigate the effects of a period of auditory deprivation and amplification type on multimodal perceptual processes of infants and children. The purpose of this study was to investigate audiovisual perception skills in normal-hearing (NH) infants and children and deaf infants and children with CIs and HAs of similar chronological ages. Methods: We used an Intermodal Preferential Looking Paradigm to present the same woman's face articulating two words ("judge" and "back") in temporal synchrony on two sides of a TV monitor, along with an auditory presentation of one of the words. Results: The results showed that NH infants and children spontaneously matched auditory and visual information in spoken words; deaf infants and children with HAs did not integrate the audiovisual information; and deaf infants and children with CIs initially did not initially integrate the audiovisual information but gradually matched the auditory and visual information in spoken words. Conclusions: These results suggest that a period of auditory deprivation affects multimodal perceptual processes that may begin to develop normally after several months of auditory experience.


This is a post-print version of an article originally published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 2010, Volume 28, Issue 2.

The version of record is available through: IOS Press. All rights reserved.

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