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Reduced visual discrimination in cochlear implant users

Turgeon, Christinea,b; Champoux, Françoisa,b,d; Lepore, Francoa; Ellemberg, Davea,c

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283525af4
Vision, Central

The aim of the study was to investigate low-level visual function in cochlear implant users. Spatial frequency discrimination was assessed in 16 adults with normal hearing and 18 adults with profound deafness who had a cochlear implant. Thresholds were measured with sinusoidal gratings using a two-alternative temporal forced-choice procedure combined with an adaptive staircase. Cochlear implant users had significantly poorer spatial frequency discrimination compared with normal hearing participants. Therefore, auditory privation leads to substantial changes in this particular visual function and these changes remain even after the restoration of hearing with a cochlear implant.

aNeuropsychology and Cognition Research Center

bSchool of Speech Pathology and Audiology

cDepartment of Kinesiology, University of Montreal

dRaymond-Dewar Institute, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Correspondence to Dave Ellemberg, PhD, Department of Kinesiology, University of Montreal, 2100 Edouard-Montpetit, Montréal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1C5 Tel: +1 514 343 7458; fax: +1 514 343 2115; e-mail:

Received January 4, 2012

Accepted February 7, 2012

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.