Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name





Carol A. Silverman

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders | Otolaryngology | Pediatrics | Speech and Hearing Science | Speech Pathology and Audiology


prosody, perception, cochlear implants, pediatrics, intonation, aural rehabilitation


Objective: The goal of this paper was to systematically review literature in order to investigate the perception of prosody in English-speaking children with cochlear implants.

Methods: A comprehensive search utilizing various peer-reviewed databases accessible through the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center Library was conducted to identify relevant studies. Inclusion criteria included studies that examined prosody perception in pre-and post-lingually deafened children with cochlear implants. Children who utilized unilateral, bilateral, and bimodal configurations of cochlear implants were therefore included in this search.

Results: 9 studies met the inclusion criteria for this systematic review. The findings demonstrated both negative and positive outcomes for pediatric users of cochlear implants. Of the 9 studies included in this systematic review, 6 (66%) included an outcome measure that assessed emotion perception, and 3 (33%) included an outcome measure that examined specific domains of speech prosody perception. Additionally, 2 of the 9 (22%) included studies specifically investigated the connection between music and the perception of emotional speech prosody.

Discussion: Results support the use and continued development of intensive (re)habilitation emphasizing suprasegmental and paralinguistic aspects of speech through prosody perception measures sensitive to both emotional and linguistic components. Positive effects of music training were also found in audio-only conditions for the perception of emotional prosody. Future research needs to be based on larger sample sizes, and should offer more alternative choices in the identification of emotional or prosodic cues, heightening prosody classification difficulty for prosody perception tasks. Incorporating differing levels of background noise and reverberation during prosody perception tasks is also recommended to simulate situations which are more representative of complex listening situations encountered by pediatric cochlear implant users.

Conclusions: Performance on emotion recognition and other aspects of prosody perception including music perception is generally poorer in children with cochlear implants than in participants in comparison groups, such as normal-hearing children. Specifically, the findings of this systematic review support the use and validation of intensive (re)habilitation measures emphasizing suprasegmental and paralinguistic aspects of speech, as well as emotion and music prosody perception.