Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Anu Sharma

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathryn Arehart

Third Advisor

Dr. Eliana Colunga

Abstract

The benefit of hearing aids as a clinical intervention strategy for children with Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD) remains controversial. The goal of this study was to determine whether amplification through hearing aid use increases cortical phase synchrony in children with ANSD. Using inter-trial coherence (ITC) of the EEG signal as our measure of cortical phase-locking, we examined differences in cortical phase synchrony in children with ANSD using a cross-sectional design (n=58) and a longitudinal design (n=16). Results in the cross-sectional portion of the study revealed no significant difference in ITC between unaided and aided children. The longitudinal data revealed no significant increase in ITC over time with hearing aid use. Interestingly, half of the subjects in the longitudinal sample showed a significant decrease in ITC from the unaided to the aided conditions. Overall, our results suggest that hearing aids are not a beneficial intervention strategy for increasing neural synchrony in ANSD and that amplification may actually reduce cortical phase-locking in some children with ANSD.

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