Subtitle Predictors of intersubject variability in emotional prosody identification by pediatric cochlear implant recipients and their peers with normal hearing
Monita Chatterjee is a Senior Scientist at Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, NE. She was born and raised in Kolkata, India. Her work focuses on both basic and translational aspects of auditory and speech perception by patients with cochlear implants. She received an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India and a Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, followed by postdoctoral training in cochlear implants at House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, CA. She is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and led NIH-funded research laboratories at House Ear Institute and at the University of Maryland College Park prior to her current position at Boys Town National Research Hospital. She is also the founder of the BIPOC-CSD network, an affinity space for Black, Indigenous and Other People of Color in the broad area of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Children with cochlear implants show high individual variability in their identification of emotional prosody. In this presentation, I will discuss our recent findings on specific predictors of this variability, including their interactions. In these studies, participants were school-age children, one group with cochlear implants and the other with normal hearing. Stimuli included a set of 12 simple 6-syllable sentences, each recorded in five emotions by a female and a male talker, resulting in 60 recordings per talker. The sentences were semantically emotion-neutral (e.g., The cup is on the table). Stimulus recordings were made in two speaking styles – one with exaggerated prosody (child-directed speech) and one with normal prosody (adult-directed speech). Participants heard each talker’s recordings in randomized order and indicated which emotion they thought was being expressed. An assessment of nonverbal cognition was also included, as well as parental education level as an index of socioeconomic status. Children with normal hearing showed significant positive effects of age, talker, and speaking style. Children with cochlear implants showed significant interactions between age, talker and speaking style, and nonverbal cognition. The results suggest that nonverbal cognition exerts a protective influence on younger children with cochlear implants, specifically supporting their ability to benefit from exaggerated prosodic cues provided by some talkers/speaking styles over others.