The relationship between functional hearing and verbal reasoning
2015 (English)Conference paper, Poster (Refereed)
Verbal reasoning performance is an indicator of the ability to think constructively in everyday life, and relies particularly on semantic long-term memory and working memory. Using cross-sectional data from the UK Biobank resource, obtained on over 100,000 40-70 year olds, this study investigated the effect of functional hearing on numerical and linguistic verbal reasoning when controlling for age, gender, and education. The study further investigated if hearing aid usage mitigated the effect, and examined different pathways from hearing to verbal reasoning. Multiple regression analyses showed that poor functional hearing was significantly associated with reduced numerical and linguistic verbal reasoning scores, and that hearing aid usage mitigated the association among those with poor hearing. Hearing significantly interacted with education as larger negative effects of hearing were seen among those with higher levels of qualifications. Structural equation modelling showed that education partially confounded, and the central executive function completely mediated the association between hearing and verbal reasoning when controlling for age. The mediation effect by the central executive function was further partially confounded by computer usage. Findings encourage further investigations into a possible positive effect of hearing aid usage on verbal reasoning (and other cognitive tasks) and of multi-tasking computer games on the central executive function/working memory in middle-aged hearing-impaired adults.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-123278OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-123278DiVA: diva2:879121
Conference on Cognitive Hearing Science for Communication (CHCCOM2015), Linköping, June 14-17, 2015