Audiovisual speech perception in elderly cochlear implant recipients

Marcia J. Hay-McCutcheon, David B. Pisoni, Karen Iler Kirk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives/Hypothesis: This study examined the speech perception skills of a younger and older group of cochlear implant recipients to determine the benefit that auditory and visual information provides for speech understanding. Study Design: Retrospective review. Methods: Pre- and postimplantation speech perception scores from the Consonant-Nucleus-Consonant (CNC), the Hearing In Noise sentence Test (HINT), and the City University of New York (CUNY) tests were analyzed for 34 postlingually deafened adult cochlear implant recipients. Half were elderly (i.e., >65 y old) and other half were middle aged (i.e., 39-53 y old). The CNC and HINT tests were administered using auditory-only presentation; the CUNY test was administered using auditory-only, vision-only, and audiovisual presentation conditions Results: No differences were observed between the two age groups on the CNC and HINT tests. For a subset of individuals tested with the CUNY sentences, we found that the preimplantation speechreading scores of the younger group correlated negatively with auditory-only postimplant performance. Additionally, older individuals demonstrated a greater reliance on the integration of auditory and visual information to understand sentences than did the younger group Conclusions: On average, the auditory-only speech perception performance of older cochlear implant recipients was similar to the performance of younger adults. However, variability in speech perception abilities was observed within and between both age groups. Differences in speechreading skills between the younger and older individuals suggest that visual speech information is processed in a different manner for elderly individuals than it is for younger adult cochlear implant recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1887-1894
Number of pages8
Issue number10 I
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Cochlear implant
  • Speech perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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