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Dichotic listening in Spanish-speaking children: validation of a set of dichotic lists of Spanish words and syllables
INTRODUCTION. Dichotic listening test can estimate hemispheric dominance for language.
AIM. To study the usefulness of a new set of dichotic pairs of Spanish stimuli in middle childhood.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS. The stratified control group comprised 40 healthy, right-handed children, aged 3.5- 7.5 years, of both sexes, with average ability at speaking Spanish. The clinical sample comprised 12 children with right spastic hemiparetic cerebral palsy, average general intelligence and sentence repetition index over –2z. Each listening series is composed of 20 age-appropriate dichotic pairs: one syllable, word, or number; or trains of two or three syllables or numbers. Voice onset time, duration and stress of stimuli were balanced. Hemispheric dominance index (HDI) for language was calculated using a formula with the scores of stimuli from right or left ears. Statistical analysis evaluated the age-related accuracy and discriminant power of each HDI.
RESULTS. In the non-forced attention paradigm, the range of HDI is 0-200. Values of HDI >= 112 indicate left hemisphere dominance for language, whereas values of HDI <= 88 indicate right hemisphere dominance. All 40 typical subjects showed left HDI for language, without influence of age and sex. In contrast, ten out of twelve (83%) right hemiparetic children had right HDI.