The benefit obtained by the people with hearing loss from the cochlear implant (CI) has brought new challenges to the scientific and educational community. Improving reading skills at the level of their typically developing peers (TD) is one of the most important goals for speech therapists up to now. Reading is a basic tool for the development of each individual, especially in adolescence when students read to learn. However, the investigators in reading continue to focus basically in some linguistic aspects in the case of adolescents with CI. In addition to the well-known linguistic aspects that could be involved in reading comprehension, some previous studies in students with TD have been able to find relationships with other factors such as theory of mind (TM) and executive functions (EF). Students with less mentalistic or executive ability, such as students with a CI, could have greater difficulties during reading to understand the emotions of the characters or to self-regulate their reading through EF. In this sense, different aims were formulated in this thesis. On the one hand, the performance in reading comprehension, ToM and EF of students with CI and students with TD were compared. On the other hand, the relationship between reading comprehension and TM was analyzed, as well as the relationship between reading comprehension and EF. The study recruited 36 students with CI and 54 students with DT who were evaluated with the PROLEC reading battery, the Stroop test (inhibition), the Plus-minus task (switching), the letter-memory task (updating), visual and auditory working memory tasks, a false belief, and a Faux Pas test. The results showed that the group with CI obtained a lower performance than the group with TD in the different texts used and, in the same way, the students with CI also had greater difficulties to solve ToM tasks in an adequate way. The results of the neuropsychological tests only showed that students with CI performed inhibition and switching task in a similar way to their peers with TD. However, better auditory conditions could enhance EF and linguistic competence. Regression analysis show that students with CI seem to need a greater contribution from TM and EF to understand a text.
- Reading comprehension
- Cochlear implant