|Speed of Auditory Information Processing in Congenitally Blind and Sighted Subjects: A Behavioral and Electrophysiological Study|
|Mohammad Hosseinabadi1, Ghassem Mohammadkhani1, Arash Almasi2|
|1Department of Audiology, School of Rehabilitation, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2Research Center of Environmental determinants of Health, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran
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Keywords : Auditory processing speed, PASAT, Congenitally blind, Event related potential
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Objectives: Blind people must rely more than sighted people on auditory input in order to acquire information about the world. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that speed of auditory information processing is better in people with congenital blindness compared to sighted people.
Materials and Methods: This study is an applied research and its method is survey research. Sixteen adolescents with congenital blindness participated in the study, together with 16 sighted control adolescents. All participants were evaluated to determine the speed of auditory information processing with two versions of PASAT (Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test) and event-related potentials.
Results: The results using independent t-test showed that blind adolescents with Pasat 1.6 test are significantly different from the group of sighted adolescents and show better performance compared to the sighted group (P = 0.013), but no significant difference was observed between the two groups in PASAT 2.6 (P = 0.38). Also, regarding event related potentials (ERPs), decreasing the latencies and increasing the amplitude of P3 wave in event-related potential showed a significant difference between the blind group and the sighted group.
Conclusions: This study shows that the performance of auditory information processing in blind adolescents is somewhat better compared to sighted adolescents, and the faster the stimuli are presented, the more significant the difference. It is suggested that the education of blind children emphasize the ability of these children to process auditory information.
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