Hearing impairment in childhood may impede the acquisition of language knowledge and phonological and lexical representations, despite hearing rehabilitation through early cochlear implantation or hearing aids. Even for those who acquire language normally in childhood, and who only suffer from hearing impairment later in life, hearing loss may degrade once-acquired language knowledge.
In order to shed more light on the relationships between poor auditory input and language performance, this project investigates relationships between crystallised language knowledge (in the form of receptive vocabulary skills and phonotactic probability knowledge), hearing impairment, and individual cognitive abilities that tap auditory short-term memory and phonological representations (auditory or visual nonword repetition) and working memory.
This investigation is done in older adults with mild to medium forms of age-related hearing loss, and in prelingually and postlingually deafened CI users (adults and children). In children with hearing impairment, we also aim to investigate the link between nonword repetition skills, vocabulary, and the process of learning to read.