Title
Earlier intervention leads to better sound localization in children with bilateral cochlear implants Earlier intervention leads to better sound localization in children with bilateral cochlear implants
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Basel ,
Subject
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Audiology and neuro-otology. - Basel
Volume/pages
15(2010) :1 , p. 7-17
ISSN
1420-3030
ISI
000272335400002
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
We present sound localization results from 30 children with bilateral cochlear implants. All children received their implants sequentially, at ages from 6 months to 9 years for the first implant and 1.5-12 years for the second implant, with delays of 10 months to 9 years. Localization was measured in the sound field, with a broadband bell-ring presented from 1 of 9 loudspeakers positioned in the frontal horizontal plane. The majority of the children (63%) were able to localize this signal significantly better than chance level. Mean absolute error scores varied from 9 to 51° (root mean square error scores from 13 to 63°). The best scores were obtained by children who received their first implant before the age of 2 years and by children who used hearing aids prior to implantation for a period of 18 months or longer. Age at second implantation was important in the group of children who did not use a contralateral hearing aid during the unilateral implant period. Additionally, children who attended a mainstream school had significantly better localization scores than children who attended a school for the deaf. No other child or implantation variables were related to localization performance. Data of parent questionnaires derived from the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale were significantly correlated with localization performance. This study shows that the sound localization ability of children with bilateral cochlear implants varies across subjects, from near-normal to chance performance, and that stimulation early in life, acoustically or electrically, is important for the development of this capacity.
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