Cognitive Functioning of the Prelingually Deaf Adults.

Advances in experimental medicine and biology

PubMedID: 25310953

Pokorski M, Klimanska S. Cognitive Functioning of the Prelingually Deaf Adults. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014;.
Deafness is a model of brain adaptation to sensory deprivation which entails psychomotor and cognitive domains. This study seeks to determine the level of emotional intelligence, assessed from the ability to discern emotions from facial expressions, visual and mental attention, and non-verbal fluency in the deaf people as compared with the hearing counterparts. Participants were 29 prelingually deaf, hearing loss of >70 dB, communicating only in sign language, and 30 hearing persons. The age range of all subjects was 40-50 years. Psychometric tools consisted of the Emotional Intelligence Scale-Faces, the d2 Test of Attention, and the Figural Fluency Test. Data elaboration took gender into account. The findings were that both deaf women and men defined significantly fewer emotions as known, compared with the hearing persons. However, the deaf men, but not women, were able to properly recognize a higher percentage of emotions associated with a definite face look, among the emotions they knew. There were no appreciable differences in attention indices between the deaf and hearing men, but deaf women's total performance on attention was worse. By contrast, deaf women, but not men, fared better in non-verbal fluency, compared with their hearing counterparts. We conclude that, on the whole, prelingual deafness does not impede cognitive functioning in adult age. The nature of detecting and executing of cognitive tasks, despite gender and task-specific variations, is preserved. Brain networks are able to compensate for the missing auditory input.