The purpose of the current study was to investigate plasticity of auditory system following cochlear implants (CI) in prelingually severe to profound hearing-impaired chil¬dren using cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) and correlate it with auditory perception performance.
A total of 28 (15 boys, 13 girls) children with profound hearing loss, who underwent CI at Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Iran, were included in this study. Their mean age at the time of implantation was 21.3 months. All children were evaluated before implantation and 3 months after implantation using the CAEPs and categorical auditory performance (CAP). For CAEP measurement, the stimuli on the HEARLab system (/m/, /g/, and /t/) were extracted from running speech and presented at 65 dB SPL.
The mean CAP and P1 amplitude values were increased from pre-CI condition to 3-month post-CI condition (Paired t-test, p<0.001). We found a positive correlation between P1 amplitude and CAP score changes from pre- to post-implantation stages (Pearson’s r=0.62, p=0.018). There was no significant difference in CAP and P1 amplitude values between boys and girls (p >0.05).
The present study indicated that early cochlear implantation, will improve cortical auditory plasticity and auditory performance ability in pre-lingual hearing-impaired children.