Does the inability to hear affect the individual's learning experience?

Researchers investigate the link between sensory experience and cognition.

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Learning about the world is believed by many to be affected by all our sensory experiences: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. But if one of these experiences is not possible from childhood, is there a gap in our ability to learn? To investigate further, a research team from Oslo and Australia studied whether sound was vital to the cognitive development of children in their study "Does a lack of auditory experience affect sequential learning?“ led by Janne von Koss Torkildsena.

68 children participated in the study. 34 children had normal hearing while the other 34 children were prelingually deaf with cochlear implants (gender and age were equally matched). The children completed a set of implicit visual sequential learning tasks, and following analysis, the results revealed the visual memory and learning ability of children wearing cochlear implants was comparable to normal hearing children. 

The research article is freely available to read by the Science Direct journal here.

Gabrielle Ahern

Managing Editor, npj Science of Learning Community

I am based in Queensland, Australia, and have an interesting portfolio of skills, experience and qualifications in science research and content creation.