Effect of auditory status on visual emotion recognition in adolescents
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Adolescents with severe to profound hearing loss who wear cochlear implants (CIs) experience significantly more peer problems compared to peers with typical hearing (TH). Differences in peer social dynamics may relate to perception not only of message content, but also message intent based on a speaker's emotion from visual (e.g. facial expressions) and auditory (e.g. prosody) cues. Pediatric CI users may experience greater difficulty with auditory emotion recognition due to an impoverished signal representation provided by the device, but the effect of auditory status on visual emotion recognition yields conflicting results. OBJECTIVES: The current study examined accuracy and speed of visual emotion recognition in adolescents with CIs and peers with TH. METHODS: Participants included 58 adolescents (10-18 years) stratified by auditory status: 34 CI users and 24 TH peers. Participants identified the intended emotion (i.e. happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, and surprise) of static images of faces displayed on a computer screen. RESULTS: No significant differences by auditory status emerged for response accuracy, response time to all trials, or response time to correct trials. Type of emotion significantly affected both accuracy and response time. CONCLUSION: Adolescents with CIs show similar accuracy and response time in recognizing static facial expressions compared to TH peers. Future studies should explore the association between visual emotion recognition and social well-being to determine the relationship between emotion recognition and overall quality of life in adolescents with CIs.
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