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Working Memory Training in Deaf Children with Cochlear Implants

  • William G. KronenbergerEmail author
  • David B. Pisoni
Chapter

Abstract

Verbal working memory is significantly delayed in many prelingually deaf children who receive cochlear implants. Because of the importance of working memory for language, learning, and daily functioning, these delays present a significant challenge to cognitive development and quality of life. In order to address the consequences of working memory delays in normal-hearing children, several computer-based, game-like programs have been developed with the goal of improving working memory. Research on these working memory training programs using normal-hearing samples has demonstrated improvement on measures of abilities that are similar to the trained working memory tasks. Findings have been suggestive but less consistent about improvement in other abilities such as fluid intelligence, attention, concentration, and academic skills. In a pilot study of a working memory training program in a sample of prelingually deaf, early implanted children and adolescents with cochlear implants, we found improvement after training on measures of working memory and sentence repetition. Results were less robust for measures of fluency/speed, and the magnitude of improvement (with the notable exception of sentence repetition skills) declined during a 6-month follow-up period. Larger samples and randomized, controlled designs are recommended as a next step to develop and evaluate novel working memory training interventions for children with cochlear implants.

Keywords

Cochlear implant Working memory Working memory training Executive functioning Intervention 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Riley Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ClinicIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.DeVault Otologic Research Lab, Department of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck SurgeryIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.DeVault Otologic Research Lab, Department of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck SurgeryIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA

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