Lizet successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled 'Beyond hearing: Social-emotional outcomes following cochlear implantation in young children' on Wednesday June 4th. Lizet's research among 1-to-5-year-old children shows that having a CI is beneficial for deaf children's social-emotional development, although they still fall behind their hearing peers in some areas.
Whereas many studies to date have focused on deaf children's language development following cochlear implantation, relatively few studies have examined these children's social-emotional development. Lizet studied the social-emotional skills of young children with cochlear implants across several domains. Specifically theory of mind and moral development turned out to be delayed in children with CI as compared to hearing children.
Professor Luca Surian, from Trento University, Italy, initiated a very interesting discussion by asking whether theory of mind can be studied through language. Without any hesitation Lizet argued that not specific language skills, but the content of language might play an important role in the development of theory of mind as it informs children about the mental states of others. Throughout her defence it became clear that Lizet feels that although a CI benefits the (social-emotional) development of deaf and hard-of-hearing children, it does not solve everything. Continued monitoring of this group of children remains necessary.
Congratulations on your accomplishment Dr. Lizet!
See the media attention concerning Lizet's research on our page In the media.