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ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 2013;75(2):55-67. doi: 10.1159/000347193. Epub 2013 May 16.

The development of lateralization abilities in children with bilateral cochlear implants.

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Department of Otolaryngology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.



The purpose of this study was to investigate the development of lateralization skills in children who received bilateral cochlear implants (CIs) in sequential operations.


The lateralization skills of 9 children with a mean age of 4.1 years at the first surgery and 5.5 years at the second surgery were assessed at 3 time intervals. Children were assessed with a 3-loudspeaker setup (front, left and right) at 0.9 years (interval I) and 1.6 years (interval II) after the second implantation, and after 5.3 years of bilateral implant use (interval III) with a 9-loudspeaker setup in the frontal horizontal plane between -90° and 90° azimuth.


With bilateral implants, a significant decrease in lateralization error was noted between test interval I (45.0°) and II (23.3°), with a subsequent significant decrease at test interval III (4.7°). Unilateral performance with the CI did not improve significantly between the first 2 intervals; however, there was a bias of responses towards the unilateral side by test interval III.


The lateralization abilities of children with bilateral CIs develop in a relatively short period of time (1-2 years) after the second implant. Children appear to be able to acquire binaural skills after bilateral cochlear implantation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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