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Nonverbal Visual Sequential Learning in Children With Cochlear Implants

Preliminary Findings

Klein, Kelsey E.; Walker, Elizabeth A.; Tomblin, J. Bruce

doi: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000564
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The authors tested the hypothesis that children with cochlear implants (CIs) experience domain-general deficits in sequential learning. Twenty children with CIs and 40 children with normal hearing (NH) participated. Participants completed a serial reaction time task that measured implicit sequential learning. During random sequence phases, the CI group had significantly slower reaction times than the NH group. However, there were no significant differences in the rates of sequential learning between groups. Age at implantation was not significantly associated with learning rate in the CI group. Children with CIs demonstrated nonverbal sequential learning that is comparable to children with NH. Contrary to previous research, early auditory deprivation may not be associated with deficits in domain-general sequential learning, but may affect sequential processing. Further investigation is needed to understand the mechanisms underlying the overall delayed reaction times of children with CIs.

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.

Received July 11, 2017; accepted January 17, 2018.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Address for correspondence: Kelsey E. Klein, University of Iowa, 250 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242. E-mail: kelsey-e-klein@uiowa.edu

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