[PS-1.10] Preliminary Assessment of Cognitive Fluidity in Deaf College Students from Diverse Linguistic Backgrounds

Kartheiser, G. 1 , Sharma, A. 2 , Bell-Souder, D. 2 & Dye, M. W. 1

1 Rochester Institute of Technology
2 University of Colorado Boulder

As of 2012, approximately 38,000 American children had received a cochlear implant with mixed spoken language and cognitive outcomes. In this research project, we aim to use high density EEG to obtain measures of cortical auditory maturity and crossmodal adaptation to deafness in a sample of 480 young deaf adults. These brain-based measures will be related to spoken language and cognitive outcomes, and the mediating effects of cochlear implantation and sign language exposure will be determined. Here, we report preliminary cognitive measures from 24 participants using the Cognitive Fluidity battery from the NIH Toolbox (Flanker Inhibition, Dimensional Card Sort, Pattern Comparison, List Sort, Picture Sequencing). Participants varied in terms of language profile (spoken English, SimCom, ASL), hearing level, and secondary education placement. The sample evidenced a wide range in performance (from 1%ile to 85%ile in cognitive fluidity based upon published norms), with self-reported fluency in sign and speech predicting a relatively small amount of the variability (36%). In our larger sample, cognitive fluidity will be related to cortical EEG measures, with cochlear implantation characteristics and sign language acquisition profiles added as mediators.