COCHLEAR IMPLANTS INTERNATIONAL, vol.20, no.2, pp.62-73, 2019 (ESCI)
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare performance in the areas of verbal working memory (VWM), vocabulary skills, and speech intelligibility between children with cochlear implants (CIs) and children with typical development (TD). The correlations between participant variables and the scores of children with CIs in VWM and the measures of language were examined. Also, it was important to identify which variables predict VWM in children with CIs. Methods: A total of 59 children participated in this study with the study group being comprised of 31 children who had received a CI and the control group being comprised of 28 children with TD. The assessment techniques utilized in this study were the backward digit span (BDS), non-word repetition, speech intelligibility, and vocabulary skills. Results: The study results revealed significant differences in the non-word repetition, speech intelligibility, and vocabulary tasks. The results all favored the typically developing children while the findings for the BDS were equal for both groups. Discussion: In children with CIs the results for VWM observed in this study are believed to be related to the modality of assessment presentation, prior vocabulary knowledge, and familiarity with the presented material. The results from this study also revealed that the variables which predicted VWM in children with CIs were speech perception, duration of CI use, and vocabulary knowledge.