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Journal Article

Establishing a mental lexicon with cochlear implants: An ERP study with young children

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Vavatzanidis,  Niki
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Saxonian Cochlear Implant Center, TU Dresden, Germany;

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Friederici,  Angela D.
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Vavatzanidis_Muerbe_2017.pdf
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Citation

Vavatzanidis, N., Mürbe, D., Friederici, A. D., & Hahne, A. (2018). Establishing a mental lexicon with cochlear implants: An ERP study with young children. Scientific Reports, 8: 910. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-18852-3.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-62C0-8
Abstract
In the present study we explore the implications of acquiring language when relying mainly or exclusively on input from a cochlear implant (CI), a device providing auditory input to otherwise deaf individuals. We focus on the time course of semantic learning in children within the second year of implant use; a period that equals the auditory age of normal hearing children during which vocabulary emerges and extends dramatically. 32 young bilaterally implanted children saw pictures paired with either matching or non-matching auditory words. Their electroencephalographic responses were recorded after 12, 18 and 24 months of implant use, revealing a large dichotomy: Some children failed to show semantic processing throughout their second year of CI use, which fell in line with their poor language outcomes. The majority of children, though, demonstrated semantic processing in form of the so-called N400 effect already after 12 months of implant use, even when their language experience relied exclusively on the implant. This is slightly earlier than observed for normal hearing children of the same auditory age, suggesting that more mature cognitive faculties at the beginning of language acquisition lead to faster semantic learning.