Cochlear implants partially restore auditory sensation in individuals affected by severe to profound hearing loss. We investigated vowel detection, identification, and discrimination in a group of congenitally-deafened, unilaterally-implanted, Italian children and in a group of age-matched controls, by combining behavioral and neurophysiologic measures. Comparable vowel identification and discrimination performance emerged for cochlear-implant and normal-hearing children at the behavioral level. At the neurophysiologic level, on the other hand, cochlear-implant children appeared to lag behind their age-matched normal-hearing peers for vowel detection and identification, but not for vowel discrimination. Length of cochlear implant use significantly affected vowel processing at the neurophysiologic level, although not systematically.
Bibliographic reference. Garrapa, Luigia / Bottari, Davide / Grimaldi, Mirko / Pavani, Francesco / Calabrese, Andrea / Benedetto, Michele De / Vitale, Silvano (2013): "Processing of /i/ and /u/ in Italian cochlear-implant children: a behavioral and neurophysiologic study", In INTERSPEECH-2013, 2272-2276.