Using a multi-feature paradigm to measure mismatch responses to minimal sound contrasts in children with cochlear implants and hearing aids

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Our aim was to explore whether a multi-feature paradigm (Optimum-1) for eliciting mismatch negativity (MMN) would objectively capture difficulties in perceiving small sound contrasts in children with hearing impairment (HI) listening through their hearing aids (HAs) and/or cochlear implants (CIs). Children aged 5–7 years with HAs, CIs and children with normal hearing (NH) were tested in a free-field setting using a multi-feature paradigm with deviations in pitch, intensity, gap, duration, and location. There were significant mismatch responses across all subjects that were positive (p-MMR) for the gap and pitch deviants (F(1,43) = 5.17, p = 0.028 and F(1,43) = 6.56, p = 0.014, respectively) and negative (MMN) for the duration deviant (F(1,43) = 4.74, p = 0.035). Only the intensity deviant showed a significant group interaction with MMN in the HA group and p-MMR in the CI group (F(2,43) = 3.40, p = 0.043). The p-MMR correlated negatively with age, with the strongest correlation in the NH subjects. In the CI group, the late discriminative negativity (LDN) was replaced by a late positivity with a significant group interaction for the location deviant. Children with severe HI can be assessed through their hearing device with a fast multi-feature paradigm. For further studies a multi-feature paradigm including more complex speech sounds may better capture variation in auditory processing in these children.


  • Inger Uhlén
  • Elisabet Engström
  • Petter Kallioinen
  • Cecilia Nakeva von Mentzer
  • Björn Lyxell
  • Birgitta Sahlén
  • Magnus Lindgren
  • Marianne Ors
External organisations
  • Karolinska University Hospital
  • Stockholm University
  • Linköping University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-421
Number of pages13
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch

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