New research is finding a link between hearing impairment and visual learning in children.
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center conducted a study to see how deaf infants process the visual world around them.
Claire Monroy, PhD/ Ohio State Wexner Medical Center says, “Many people assume that deaf infants and children compensate for the lack of hearing by being better at processing visual things or their visual attention is enhanced and, actually, these findings show the opposite.”
Researchers showed 46 infants, half with normal hearing, half who are deaf, images on a screen to measure how fast the babies looked away.
Derek Houston, PhD/ Ohio State Wexner Medical Center explains “The faster a child can process the visual information, the quicker they’ll habituate to it.”
What they found was that the deaf infants looked at the image on average for 30 seconds longer than the infants who could hear.
However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t processing the image as fast. In fact, it could mean they are actually taking more of the image in.
This is something the authors of the study hope to explore further.
“Understanding the source of these differences can really help us taylor inventions for these kids, and the earlier that happens, the better,.” says Dr. Monroy.