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Lasting auditory attention impairment after persistent middle ear infections: a dichotic listening study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 July 2000

Arve Asbjørnsen
Affiliation:
University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.
Anders Holmefjord
Affiliation:
Eikelund Resource Center, Bergen, Norway.
Sigvor Reisæter
Affiliation:
Eikelund Resource Center, Bergen, Norway.
Per Møller
Affiliation:
Haukelund Hospital, Bergen, Norway.
Olav Klausen
Affiliation:
Haukelund Hospital, Bergen, Norway.
Bente Prytz
Affiliation:
Haukelund Hospital, Bergen, Norway.
Carol Boliek
Affiliation:
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.
John E Obrzut
Affiliation:
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.
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Abstract

Dichotic listening performance was studied in children who at an early age had undergone a myringotomy with insertion of ventilating tubes for persistent middle ear infections (otitis media with effusion; OME) and compared with age-equivalent children who had no history of otitis media or hearing problems. The OME group consisted of 19 children with a median age of 9 years; 15 of whom were right-handed, and 14 were boys. The comparison sample comprised 18 children with a median age was 9 years 4 months. Hand preference and sex were matched with the OME group. Both groups were tested with dichotic listening to consonant–vowel syllables and additional forced-attention tasks. The comparison sample showed a weak right-ear advantage, and age-adequate attentional modulations. The children in the OME group showed a strong right-ear advantage, but were not able to modulate the ear advantage during directed-attention tasks. Models for interpreting the result are discussed.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© 2000 Mac Keith Press

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