The influence of auditory selective attention on linguistic outcomes in deaf and hard of hearing children with cochlear implants

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Nicastri M., Giallini I., Inguscio B. M. S., Turchetta R., Guerzoni L., Cuda D., ...More

European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, vol.280, no.1, pp.115-124, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 280 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00405-022-07463-y
  • Journal Name: European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.115-124
  • Keywords: Cochlear implants, Child, Auditory selective attention, Language skills, SPEECH, SEGREGATION, IMPACT
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022, The Author(s).Purpose: Auditory selective attention (ASA) is crucial to focus on significant auditory stimuli without being distracted by irrelevant auditory signals and plays an important role in language development. The present study aimed to investigate the unique contribution of ASA to the linguistic levels achieved by a group of cochlear implanted (CI) children. Methods: Thirty-four CI children with a median age of 10.05 years were tested using both the “Batteria per la Valutazione dell’Attenzione Uditiva e della Memoria di Lavoro Fonologica nell’età evolutiva-VAUM-ELF” to assess their ASA skills, and two Italian standardized tests to measure lexical and morphosyntactic skills. A regression analysis, including demographic and audiological variables, was conducted to assess the unique contribution of ASA to language skills. Results: The percentages of CI children with adequate ASA performances ranged from 50 to 29.4%. Bilateral CI children performed better than their monolateral peers. ASA skills contributed significantly to linguistic skills, accounting alone for the 25% of the observed variance. Conclusions: The present findings are clinically relevant as they highlight the importance to assess ASA skills as early as possible, reflecting their important role in language development. Using simple clinical tools, ASA skills could be studied at early developmental stages. This may provide additional information to outcomes from traditional auditory tests and may allow us to implement specific training programs that could positively contribute to the development of neural mechanisms of ASA and, consequently, induce improvements in language skills.