Research Topic

Children Listen: Psychological and Linguistic Aspects of Listening Difficulties During Development

About this Research Topic

Language and cognitive development go hand-in-hand and for the vast majority of children, language is acquired by listening in context, ie the intentional act of focusing attention on a particular source of auditory information in a specific multimodal setting. At the same time, listening often takes place to the accompaniment of background noise, and the quality of the sound source may also be limited. Even low levels of background noise reduce listening comprehension in children and this applies to hearing children with typical linguistic and cognitive abilities. Indeed, children with poor hearing and those with weak linguistic, or cognitive skills, and who are without the correct support are at an even greater risk of missing important information.

Moreover, in many countries, schoolwork is based on classroom interaction to promote core democratic principles such as equity-based equality, critical thinking and lifelong learning. However, interactive classrooms create new problems: Interaction is by definition noisy, generating unwanted sound that may mask the target voice or distract attention away from it. Background noise also often exceeds recommended levels and classroom acoustics may not be adapted to new educational methods or children with special needs. We also know that background noise uses the cognitive resources that are needed when listening and this background noise inevitably has an effect on listening effort. Finally, motivation has recently come into focus as an important factor in the strategic exertion of effort during listening tasks.

This Research Topic focusses on the psychological and linguistic aspects of listening in children, and how listening difficulties caused by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors may affect development. The goal is to advance the scientific state of the art by collecting empirical and theoretical contributions relating to listening in children. We welcome empirical articles that apply methods including, but not limited to, behavioural, psychophysical and neuroimaging approaches to the study of any aspect of listening in children. We aim to attract empirical contributions relating to both typical and atypical development and from a theoretical perspective, we welcome articles that specifically address listening effort in children with particular reference to the way in which listening difficulties affect motivation, memory and learning.


Keywords: Children, Hearing, Listening, Cognition, Effort


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Language and cognitive development go hand-in-hand and for the vast majority of children, language is acquired by listening in context, ie the intentional act of focusing attention on a particular source of auditory information in a specific multimodal setting. At the same time, listening often takes place to the accompaniment of background noise, and the quality of the sound source may also be limited. Even low levels of background noise reduce listening comprehension in children and this applies to hearing children with typical linguistic and cognitive abilities. Indeed, children with poor hearing and those with weak linguistic, or cognitive skills, and who are without the correct support are at an even greater risk of missing important information.

Moreover, in many countries, schoolwork is based on classroom interaction to promote core democratic principles such as equity-based equality, critical thinking and lifelong learning. However, interactive classrooms create new problems: Interaction is by definition noisy, generating unwanted sound that may mask the target voice or distract attention away from it. Background noise also often exceeds recommended levels and classroom acoustics may not be adapted to new educational methods or children with special needs. We also know that background noise uses the cognitive resources that are needed when listening and this background noise inevitably has an effect on listening effort. Finally, motivation has recently come into focus as an important factor in the strategic exertion of effort during listening tasks.

This Research Topic focusses on the psychological and linguistic aspects of listening in children, and how listening difficulties caused by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors may affect development. The goal is to advance the scientific state of the art by collecting empirical and theoretical contributions relating to listening in children. We welcome empirical articles that apply methods including, but not limited to, behavioural, psychophysical and neuroimaging approaches to the study of any aspect of listening in children. We aim to attract empirical contributions relating to both typical and atypical development and from a theoretical perspective, we welcome articles that specifically address listening effort in children with particular reference to the way in which listening difficulties affect motivation, memory and learning.


Keywords: Children, Hearing, Listening, Cognition, Effort


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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30 April 2019 Manuscript

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Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 April 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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