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Sound Processing and Language in Children with Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss
We aim to recruit 60 children who have a permanent mild or moderate sensorineural hearing loss and are aged 8 to 15 years old. We are also looking to recruit 60 normally hearing children of the same age.
What the study will involve
Children will be seen over two sessions. Both sessions will take place at the ICL Research Centre at UCL. In these sessions we will assess children’s sound processing abilities in two ways. We will use computer games to measure the smallest difference that children can detect between two sounds.
We will also use event-related potentials (ERP) to measure the children’s automatic brain responses when they are listening to sounds. This is a way of detecting how the brain responds during listening. To do this, children will wear a special cap with receptors that can detect tiny changes in the electrical activity of the brain. This technique is entirely non-invasive and harmless. It does not hurt! Children can watch a silent DVD during this part of the session.
Finally, we will assess language abilities using a variety of different games. In these games, children will be asked to repeat things that the experimenter says. They will also be asked to name pictures of objects, or to find a picture that matches something the researcher says. One of our games involves the child doing puzzles like jigsaws, and does not involve any language.