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 outcomes in older children who use multichannel cochlear implants: Older is not always poorer
    Dowell, RC ; Dettman, SJ ; Hill, K ; Winton, E ; Barker, EJ ; Clark, GM (ANNALS PUBL CO, 2002-05-01)
    Speech perception outcomes for early-deafened children who undergo implantation as teenagers or young adults are generally reported to be poorer than results for young children. It is important to provide appropriate expectations when counseling adolescents and their families to help them make an informed choice regarding cochlear implant surgery. The considerable variation of results in this group makes this process more difficult. This study considered a number of factors in a group of 25 children who underwent implantation in Melbourne between the ages of 8 and 18 years. Each subject completed open-set speech perception testing with Bamford-Kowal-Bench sentences before and after implantation and preoperative language testing with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. Data were collected regarding the type of hearing loss, age at implantation, age at hearing aid fitting, audiometric details, and preoperative and postoperative communication mode. Results were submitted to a stepwise multiple linear regression analysis with postoperative open-set sentence scores as the dependent variables. The analysis suggested that 3 factors have a significant predictive value for speech perception after implantation: preoperative open-set sentence score, duration of profound hearing loss, and equivalent language age. These 3 factors accounted for 66% of the variance in this group. The results of this study suggest that children who have useful speech perception before implantation, and higher age-equivalent scores on language measures, would be expected to do well with a cochlear implant. Consistent with other studies, a shorter duration of profound hearing loss is also advantageous. The mean sentence score for this group, 47%, was not significantly different from the mean result across all children in the Melbourne program.
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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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    Speech perception as a function of electrical stimulation rate: using the nucleus 24 cochlear implant system
    Vandali, Andrew E. ; Whitford, Lesley A. ; Plant, Kerrie L. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 2000)
    Objective: To investigate the effect of varying electrical stimulation rate on speech comprehension by cochlear implant users, while keeping the number of stimulated channels constant. Design: Three average rates of electrical stimulation,250, 807, and 1615 pulses per second per channel (pps/ch), were compared using a speech processing strategy that employed an electrode selection technique similar to that used in the Spectral Maxima Sound Processor strategy (McDermott, McKay,& Vandali, 1992; McDermott & Vandali, Reference Note 1; McKay, McDermott, Vandali, & Clark, 1991)and the Spectral Peak strategy (Skinner et al., 1994;Whitford et al., 1995). Speech perception tests with five users of the Nucleus 24 cochlear implant system were conducted over a 21-wk period. Subjects were given take-home experience with each rate condition. A repeated ABC evaluation protocol with alternating order was employed so as to account for learning effects and to minimize order effects. Perception of open-set monosyllabic words in quiet and open-set sentences at signal to noise ratios ranging from +20 to 0 dB, depending on the subject’s ability, were tested. A comparative performance questionnaire was also administered. Results: No statistical differences in group performance between the 250 and 807 pps/ch rates were observed in any of the speech perception tests. However, significantly poorer group performance was observed for the 1615 pps/ch rate for some tests due predominantly to the results of one subject. Analysis of individual scores showed considerable variation across subjects. For some subjects, one or more of the three rate conditions evaluated provided benefits on some speech perception tasks. The results of the comparative performance questionnaire indicated a preference for the 250 and 807pps/ch rates over the 1615 pps/ch rate for most listening situations. Conclusions: For the speech processing strategy, implant system, and subjects evaluated in this study, the group results indicated that the use of electrical stimulation rates higher than 250 pps/ch (up to 1615 pps/ch) generally provided no significant improvement to speech comprehension. However, individual results indicated that perceptual.
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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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    Short-term auditory memory in children using cochlear implants and its relevance to receptive language [Abstract]
    Dawson, Pam ; BUSBY, PETER ; MCKAY, COLETTE ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 2000)
    Current work indicates that many children using cochlear implants are able to hear fine differences between speech sounds but are not progressing as wel1 as expected in receptive language ability. There is anecdotal evidence from teachers that some children using cochlear implants have poor short-term auditory memory ability, which may be impeding their language development. Temporal ordering and short-term memory storage capacity involve higher order processing. Severe auditory deprivation prior to implantation may have caused auditory processing deficits at a cortical level. This study aims to assess short-term, sequential, auditory memory ability in children using cochlear implants and to determine the relationship between this ability and receptive language ability. Short-term auditory memory ability has not been previously investigated in profoundly deaf children using hearing aids and/or cochlear implants. Twenty-four children using the 22-electrode cochlear implant were tested on five short-term sequential memory tasks, three with auditory stimuli and two with visual stimuli. There were 8 children in each of the age groups; 5-6 years, 7-8 years, and 9-11 years. Twenty-four age-matched, normally hearing children served as a control group. Al1 children were also assessed on the receptive subtests of the CELF (Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals) and on the nonverbal scale of the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC) which measures nonverbal intelligence. This study assessed short-term auditory memory with tasks that required minimal language ability. Prior to the memory tasks, the child had to demonstrate accurate identification of the stimuli with a similar reaction time to the normally hearing controls. As expected there is a significant effect of age on memory performance for the 24 normally hearing children, with older children performing better than the younger children. The memory performance of the children using cochlear implants is therefore described in terms of its deviation from expected performance for a given chronological age. Preliminary results suggest that it is unlikely that auditory deprivation causes a memory deficit specific to the auditory modality. Performance on visual memory tasks is very similar to performance on analogous auditory memory tasks for a group of implant users. The performance of children using cochlear implants on a variety of memory tasks does not appear to be significantly different to that of normally hearing children who are of similar age and nonverbal intel1igence. In contrast their receptive language scores are substantially inferior.
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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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    The effect of loudness imbalance between electrodes in cochlear implant users
    Dawson, P. W. ; Skok, M. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 1997)
    Objective: The aim was to determine the effect of loudness imbalance between electrodes in patients using the 22-electrode cochlear implant (Cochlear Pty Ltd). It was hypothesized that speech perception scores would be greater when the loudness of electrodes was balanced at the comfort (C) levels than when the C levels were unbalanced. Design: Ten adult patients received a monosyllabic word test (CNC words) in quiet and a sentence test (CUNY sentences) in noise under two conditions: with C levels balanced for equal loudness and with unbalanced C levels. Results: When the C levels across electrodes were pseudo-randomly unbalanced by 0 to ±20% of the electrodes' dynamic ranges (20% unbalancing), 6 of the 10 subjects showed a significant drop in sentence perception scores. Of these patients, none had a significant decrease in perception when the degree of unbalancing was halved. Of the four patients who showed no change with 20% unbalancing, three revealed a significant decline in sentence perception when the degree of unbalancing was doubled. There also were significant group effects for phonemes on the word test as well as for sentences in noise for the 20% unbalancing. Conclusions: The implications for clinical practice are that it is important to balance the C levels and that clinicians should be encouraged to refine methods for setting C levels in very young children, who may be using unbalanced MAPs. Nevertheless, although most patients revealed a statistically significant drop in sentence perception with 20% imbalance of the C levels, the changes in percentage scores often were only small.
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    Speech perception in implanted children: influence of preoperative residual hearing on outcomes [Abstract]
    Cowan, R. S. C. ; Barker, E. J. ; Pegg, P. ; Dettman, S. ; Rennie, M. ; Galvin, K. ; Meskin, T. ; Rance, G. ; Cody, K. ; Sarant, J. ; Larratt, M. ; Latus, K. ; HOLLOW, RODNEY ; Rehn, C. ; Dowell, R. C. ; Pyman, B. ; Gibson, W. P. R. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 1998)
    Since the first child was implanted with the Nucleus 22-channel prosthesis in Melbourne in 1985, several thousand children world-wide have now benefitted from this technology. More effective paediatric assessment and management procedures have now been developed, allowing cochlear implants to be offered to children under the age of 2 years. Improvements in speech processing strategy have also been implemented in the Nucleus implant system, resulting in increased mean speech perception benefits for implanted adults. Although a range of performance on formal measures of hearing, speech or language has been reported for children using implants, results from the first decade of implant experience consistently show that significant benefits are available to children receiving their implant at an early age. Reported speech perception results for implanted children show that a considerable proportion (60%) of paediatric patients in the Melbourne and Sydney clinics are able to understand some open-set speech using electrical stimulation alone. These results, and the upward trend of mean speech perception benefits shown for postlinguistically deafened adults have raised questions as to whether severely, or severely-to-profoundly deaf children currently using hearing aids would in fact benefit more from a cochlear implant. To investigate the potential influence of the degree of preoperative residual hearing on postoperative speech perception, results for all implanted children in the Melbourne and Sydney cochlear implant programs were analysed. Results showed that as a group, children with higher levels of preoperative residual hearing were consistently more likely to achieve open-set speech perception benefits. Potential factors in this finding could be higher levels of ganglion cell survival or greater patterning of the auditory pathways using conventional hearing aids prior to implantation. Conversely, children with the least preoperative residual hearing were less predictable, with some children achieving open-set perception, and others showing more limited closed-set benefits to perception. For these children, it is likely that preoperative residual hearing is of less significance than other factors in outcomes.