Binaural Hearing and Speech Lab
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Auditory Challenges in Down Syndrome: Insights from Cortical Evoked Potentials
Down syndrome (DS) is the most common chromosomal condition affecting multiple systems in the body. Individuals with DS have high rates of hearing loss compared to individuals without DS. Additionally, individuals with DS show anatomical and functional differences related to the central auditory system that may contribute to difficulties in processing auditory information; this could interact with hearing loss to further alter their ability to use auditory information effectively in everyday life. Indeed, previous physiological studies using auditory evoked potentials showed evidence that individuals with DS have difficulties in processing auditory stimuli. However, little is known about cortical auditory processing among individuals with DS, nor whether alterations in auditory cortical processing in individuals with DS are associated with their auditory perceptual abilities.
In my talk, I will present preliminary findings from an ongoing study in which we measured cortical auditory obligatory responses to low and high-frequency speech sounds (/m/ and /s/) in young adults with DS and neurotypical children and adults. I will also discuss how cortical auditory processing is associated with speech perception.