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Int J Audiol. 2008 Nov;47 Suppl 2:S53-71. doi: 10.1080/14992020802301142.

Are individual differences in speech reception related to individual differences in cognitive ability? A survey of twenty experimental studies with normal and hearing-impaired adults.

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MRC Institute of Hearing Research, Scottish Section, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK.


This paper summarizes twenty studies, published since 1989, that have measured experimentally the relationship between speech recognition in noise and some aspect of cognition, using statistical techniques such as correlation or factor analysis. The results demonstrate that there is a link, but it is secondary to the predictive effects of hearing loss, and it is somewhat mixed across study. No one cognitive test always gave a significant result, but measures of working memory (especially reading span) were mostly effective, whereas measures of general ability, such as IQ, were mostly ineffective. Some of the studies included aided listening, and two reported the benefits from aided listening: again mixed results were found, and in some circumstances cognition was a useful predictor of hearing-aid benefit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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