Time-gated word recognition in children: Effects of auditory access, age, and semantic context

Elizabeth A. Walker, David Kessler, Kelsey Klein, Meredith Spratford, Jacob J. Oleson, Anne Welhaven, Ryan W. McCreery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: We employed a time-gated word recognition task to investigate how children who are hard of hearing (CHH) and children with normal hearing (CNH) combine cognitive– linguistic abilities and acoustic–phonetic cues to recognize words in sentence-final position. Method: The current study included 40 CHH and 30 CNH in 1st or 3rd grade. Participants completed vocabulary and working memory tests and a time-gated word recognition task consisting of 14 high- and 14 low-predictability sentences. A time-to-event model was used to evaluate the effect of the independent variables (age, hearing status, predictability) on word recognition. Mediation models were used to examine the associations between the independent variables (vocabulary size and working memory), aided audibility, and word recognition. Results: Gated words were identified significantly earlier for high-predictability than low-predictability sentences. Firstgrade CHH and CNH showed no significant difference in performance. Third-grade CHH needed more information than CNH to identify final words. Aided audibility was associated with word recognition. This association was fully mediated by vocabulary size but not working memory. Conclusions: Both CHH and CNH benefited from the addition of semantic context. Interventions that focus on consistent aided audibility and vocabulary may enhance children’s ability to fill in gaps in incoming messages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2519-2534
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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