Graeme Clark Collection

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    Cognitive processing in children using cochlear implants: the relationship between visual memory, attention, and executive functions and developing language skills
    Surowiecki, Vanessa N. ; SARANT, JULIA ; MARUFF, PAUL ; Blamey, Peter J. ; Busby, Peter A. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 2002)
    We performed this study to determine whether children using a cochlear implant performed differently from age- and gender-matched hearing aid users on 8 neuropsychological measures of visual memory, attention, and executive functioning. The study also examined whether differences in cognitive skills could account for some of the observed variance in speech perception, vocabulary, and language abilities of hearing-impaired children. In contrast to previous studies, our results revealed no significant cognitive differences between children who use a cochlear implant and children who use hearing aids. Partial correlation analysis indicated that the children’s visual memory skills, i.e., their recognition memory, delayed recall, and paired associative learning memory skills, correlated significantly with their language skills. When examined at a significance level of .01, attention and executive functioning skills did not relate to the children’s developing speech perception, vocabulary, or language skills. The results suggested that differences in visual memory skills may account for some of the variance seen in the language abilities of children using implants and children using hearing aids.
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    Speech perception in children using cochlear implants: prediction of long-term outcomes.
    Dowell, RC ; Dettman, SJ ; Blamey, PJ ; Barker, EJ ; Clark, GM (Maney Publishing, 2002-03)
    A group of 102 children using the Nucleus multichannel cochlear implant were assessed for open-set speech perception abilities at six-monthly intervals following implant surgery. The group included a wide range of ages, types of hearing loss, ages at onset of hearing loss, experience with implant use and communication modes. Multivariate analysis indicated that a shorter duration of profound hearing loss, later onset of profound hearing loss, exclusively oral/aural communication and greater experience with the implant were associated with better open-set speech perception. Developmental delay was associated with poorer speech perception and the SPEAK signal coding scheme was shown to provide better speech perception performance than previous signal processors. Results indicated that postoperative speech perception outcomes could be predicted with an accuracy that is clinically useful.
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    Variation in speech perception scores among children with cochlear implants
    Sarant, JZ ; Blamey, PJ ; Dowell, RC ; Clark, GM ; Gibson, WPR (LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 2001-02-01)
    OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to identify common factors affecting speech perception scores in children with cochlear implants. DESIGN: Speech perception data for 167 implanted children were collected at two cochlear implant centres in Melbourne and Sydney. The data comprised audition-alone scores on open-set word and sentence tests. Children were selected on the basis that they had a Nucleus 22-electrode cochlear implant. The average age of the children was 5 yr. Information was also collected about 12 factors that may have influenced speech perception scores for each child. Analysis of covariance was used to identify factors that significantly affected speech perception scores. Pearson pairwise correlation coefficients were also calculated for all factors analyzed. RESULTS: The analyses in this study identified factors that accounted for 51%, 34%, and 45% of the variance in phoneme, word and sentence perception scores. Scores decreased by 1.4 to 2.4% per year of profound deafness prior to implantation. Children who normally use oral communication scored significantly higher than children normally using sign or simultaneous oral and sign communication. Children implanted in Sydney scored higher on average than children implanted in Melbourne. CONCLUSIONS: The results show that a significant part of the variation in speech perception scores is systematically related to audiological and environmental factors for each child. The reasons for significant differences between children using different communication modes or from different clinics were not identified.
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    A comparison of a new prototype Tickle Talker with a Tactaid 7
    Galvin, Karyn L. ; Ginis, Jan ; Cowan, Robert S. C. ; Blamey, Peter J. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 2001)
    This study compared the speech perception enhancement provided by two multichannel tactile aids: a new version of the Tickle TalkerT™ and the Tactaid 7. The subjects' impression of benefit was also examined. In an AB pattern, six adults with hearing impairment used each device daily for approximately 18 weeks and attended 12 training sessions. When tactile information was provided, the group demonstrated a significant enhancement for the perception of words (mean 17.2%) and phonemes (mean 12.9%) in monosyllabic word lists, words in sentences (mean 14.2%) and speech tracking (mean 7.7 wpm). The Tactaid 7 provided a significantly greater enhancement for the perception of words (21 % versus 13.4%), phonemes (16.7% versus 9.1%) and some speech features in monosyllabic word lists. Subjective ratings were slightly higher for the Tactaid 7, and four subjects preferred this device. Either device may be suitable for those not able or willing to have a cochlear implant.
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    The development of speech perception in children using cochlear implants: effects of etiologic factors and delayed milestones
    PYMAN, BRIAN ; Blamey, Peter J. ; Lacy, Peter ; Clark, Graeme M. ; DOWELL, RICHARD ( 2000)
    Hypothesis: Speech perception outcomes for cochlear implantation of children vary over a wide range, and it is hypothesized that central pathologic states associated with certain causes of hearing impairment account for a substantial part of the variance. Study Design: A retrospective analysis was carried out to ascertain the relationships between speech perception, etiologic factors, and central pathologic states as indicated by preoperative delayed motor milestones and/or cognitive delays. Setting: Data were obtained from the pre-and postoperative records of patients attending a hospital cochlear implant clinic. Patients: Results for 75 consecutive patients up to age 5 years who underwent implantation were included in the study. Intervention: Patients received a 22-electrode cochlear prosthesis and were seen by the clinic for regular tune-up and assessments. Home-and school-based habilitation was recommended by the clinic. Main Outcome Measures: Speech perception measures were classified on a five-point scale to allow for different evaluation procedures at different ages and developmental stages. Results: The incidence of motor and cognitive delays were fairly evenly spread across etiologic factors, except for cytomegalovirus, which had a much higher than average incidence. Children with motor and/or cognitive delays were significantly slower than other children in the development of speech perception skills after implantation. Etiologic factors did not have a statistically significant effect on speech perception outcome. Conclusions: It is likely that central pathologic states account for a substantial part of the variance among children using cochlear implants. Specific indicators of central pathologic states should be used to assess a child's prognosis in preference to less specific information based on etiologic factors alone.
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    Generalisation of tactile perceptual skills to new context following tactile-alone word recognition training with the Tickle Talker
    Galvin, Karyn L. ; Blamey, Peter J. ; Cowan, Robert S. C. ; Oerlemans, Michael ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 2000)
    Abstract not available due to copyright.
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    The effect of language knowledge on speech perception: what are we really assessing?
    Sarant, Julia Z. ; Blamey, Peter J. ; Cowan, Robert S. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 1997)
    Objective: The authors examined whether open-set speech perception scores are limited by knowledge of vocabulary and syntax and further considered whether remediation of vocabulary and syntax will increase open-set speech perception scores. Study Design: This was a repeated-measures study design in the setting of a primary (elementary) school for the hearing impaired. Patients: The study population was composed of three hearing-impaired children using Nucleus 22-channel cochlear implant. Intervention: Intervention used was language remediation sessions. Main Outcome Measures: The main outcome measures were assessment of auditory-alone speech perception benefit using open-set words and sentences and assessment of syntactic knowledge using the Test of Syntactic Ability. Outcome measures were applied before and after remediation. Results: Child 1 and child 2 showed a significant postremediation improvement in their overall scores on the Test of Syntactic Ability and in their ability to perceive words learned during remediation. Child I and child 2 also showed a significant improvement in their scores on a modified Bamford-Kowal-Bench open-set sentence test, which specifically targeted grammatical constructs trained in remediation sessions. Conclusions: Remediation of language knowledge deficits significantly improved open-set speech perception for two children, suggesting a need to include language remediation in cochlear implant habilitation programs.
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    Acquisition of a tactile-alone vocabulary by normally hearing users of the Tickle Talker
    Galvin, Karyn L. ; Blamey, Peter J. ; Oerlemans, Michael ; Cowan, Robert S. C. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 1999)
    Abstract not available due to copyright.
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    A comparison of Tactaid II+ and Tactaid 7 use by adults with a profound hearing impairment
    Galvin, Karyn L. ; Mavrias, Gina ; Moore, Alessandra ; Cowan, Robert S. C. ; Blamery, Peter J. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 1999)
    Objective: To evaluate and compare use of the Tactaid II+ and the Tactaid 7, in terms of speech perception, by adults with a hearing impairment. Design: Eight adults used one device daily for approximately 10 wk and attended seven training sessions. Performance was measured with tests of phonetic contrast perception, closed-set vowel and consonant identification, word and phoneme recognition in monosyllabic word lists, word recognition in sentences and speechtracking rate. A questionnaire was also administered. The protocol was repeated with the alternative device. Results: With each device, the group discriminated most phonetic contrasts at better-than-chance levels and demonstrated somewhat enhanced visual or auditory-visual perception when measured in terms of vowel identification, monosyllabic word recognition and speechtracking rate. An increase in speechtracking rate was also demonstrated for some individuals. Subjects generally reported little subjective improvement in speech perception and production, but were satisfied with the physical attributes of each device. Five of six subjects preferred the Tactaid 7. Conclusions: The Tactaid II+ and the Tactaid 7 provided suprasegmental and segmental information, enabling the group to discriminate phonetic contrasts and improve their perception of some speech materials. No consistent advantage was found for either device, thought most subjects preferred the Tactaid 7. Alternatives likely to provide a greater benefit to communication should be considered before Tactaid fitting.
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    Studies of prosody perception by cochlear implant patients
    Richardson, Louise M. ; Busby, Peter A. ; Blamey, Peter J. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 1998)
    Prosodic information is conveyed to normally-hearing listeners by variations in acoustic fundamental frequency, amplitude envelope, and duration of speech segments. This study measured cochlear implant patients' sensitivity to these parameters in electrically coded speech. The psychophysical discrimination of electric parameters used to code prosodic information, were examined, together with prosody perception using speech processing strategies which modified the contributions of these parameters. Patients were implanted with the Cochlear Limited prosthesis and used the MPEAK speech processing strategy. In the psychophysical studies, difference limens were measured for steady-state and time-varying stimuli, of different pulse rates and pulse durations, over a series of different stimulus durations. These limens were obtained using an adaptive procedure which converged on the 50 per cent correct point. In the prosody perception studies, performance was measured for the MPEAK strategy and for strategies which modified the contributions of pulse rate and pulse duration. Data were collected for five tests of prosodic contrasts. Difference limens for steady-state pulse rates were larger at higher rates (17 per cent at 400 pulses/s) than at lower rates (6 per cent at 100 pulses/s). For some patients, limens for the time-varying pulse rates were larger than those for the steady-state pulse rates while for the other patients, the limens were similar. Difference limens for pulse duration were 0.3 dB, corresponding to 4 per cent of the dynamic range, for steady-state stimuli and doubled in size for the time-varying stimuli. Prosody perception performance was generally poorer for the modified strategies than for the MPEAK strategy, suggesting that the removal of information coded by pulse rate and pulse duration reduced the perception of prosodic contrasts.