Emotional Perception of Music in Children with Unilateral Cochlear Implants

Document Type : Original


1 Department of Audiology, School of Rehabilitation, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Basic Sciences in Rehabilitation, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Rehabilitation Research Center (RRC), IRAN University of Medical Sciences (IUMS)

3 Department of Audiology, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS), Tehran, Iran

4 Otorhinolaryngology Research Center, AmirAlam Hospital, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Physiotherapy, School of Rehabilitation, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Cochlear implantation (CI) improves language skills among children with hearing loss. However, children with CIs still fall short of fulfilling some other needs, including musical perception. This is often attributed to the biological, technological, and acoustic limitations of CIs. Emotions play a key role in the understanding and enjoyment of music. The present study aimed to investigate the emotional perception of music in children with bilaterally severe-to-profound hearing loss and unilateral CIs.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty-five children with congenital severe-to-profound hearing loss and unilateral CIs and 30 children with normal hearing participated in the study. The children’s emotional perceptions of music, as defined by Peretz (1998), were measured. Children were instructed to indicate happy or sad feelings fostered in them by the music by pointing to pictures of faces showing these emotions.
Children with CI obtained significantly lower scores than children with normal hearing, for both happy and sad items of music as well as in overall test scores (P<0.001). Furthermore, both in CI group (P=0.49) and the control one (P<0.001), the happy items were more often recognized correctly than the sad items.
Hearing-impaired children with CIs had poorer emotional perception of music than their normal peers. Due to the importance of music in the development of language, cognitive and social interaction skills, aural rehabilitation programs for children with CIs should focus particularly on music. Furthermore, it is essential to enhance the quality of musical perception by improving the quality of implant prostheses.


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