Cognitive hearing science
The new research field of cognitive hearing science is about the interaction between the individual's cognitive skills, type and degree of hearing loss and how this affects the individual's possibilities and limitations in different communicative situations. We study for example how different types of hearing devices and the auditory stimulation these provide may affect children's
cognitive and linguistic development.
Deaf and hearing-impaired children with cochlear implants and/or hearing-aids.
A cochlear implant (CI) is an electronic device that restores partial hearing to individuals with severe to profound hearing loss who do not benefit from a conventional hearing aid. In Sweden more than 95% of deaf children are implanted today. The research within this area takes place within an interdisciplinary Swedish network for research on children with CI. The network includes around 20 senior researchers and postdocs and 12 graduate students. The focus of research is how the auditory stimulation provided by the CI affects the cognitive, linguistic and communicative development. An additional line of research is on children and adolescents with deafblind syndromes (Usher´s and Alström syndrome).
Cochlear implants and cognition in adults
This line of research started 1994 and the goal is to identify pre-operative predictors of speech understanding in a long-term perspective. This is one of the few studies in the world where we have pre-operative cognitive data on all from 20 years back in time and audiological follow-up tests during that time. We have also gathered and reported data on the individuals as well as on their significant others subjective experience in change of quality of life following a CI.
Cognitive intervention or cognitive training refers to training activities that improve specific cognitive abilities and where possible improvements as a function training is possible observe immediately after training as well some time (e.g., 4 – 6 months) after the training session is terminated. For children we have demonstrated that an internet-based cognitive training can improves deaf and hearing-impaired children phonological skills and that this in turn related to their reading development. Preliminary results for adults reveal that working memory training is effective and correlated with changes in brain activation pattern. Improvement in working memory performance is also correlated with speech understanding in noise.