A study conducted on “Attention capture by brief abrupt-onset cues in hearing-impaired individuals” by Prof. Ramesh Mishra’s lab at Center for Neural and Cognitive Sciences, School of Medical Sciences, University of Hyderabad has been published by the prestigious journal “Neuropsychologia” which is an interdisciplinary journal for cognitive neurosciences.

Prof. Ramesh Mishra

In the paper titled “Attention capture by brief abrupt-onset cues in hearing-impaired individuals”, it is shown that a sample of congenitally deaf individuals born to deaf parents show greater attentional orienting to visual cues than individuals with normal-hearing. Using the Posner cueing paradigm which is a well-known paradigm in attention research, the authors show that suddenly appearing information on the screen capture the attention of hearing-impaired individuals to a greater extent. This suggests that hearing impairment makes deaf individuals more susceptible to sudden information in their environment. Whether this is an advantage or not depends on the type of information and the environment in which the individual finds themselves. Deafness-induced neuro-plasticity in the brain along with the use of sign language is considered to be the underlying reasons behind such visual processing differences observed in the deaf. Such findings have implications not only for understanding the deaf visual system better but also for deaf education and rehabilitation.

The study was conducted by former PhD student Seema Prasad under Prof. Mishra’s supervision. Seema is currently a Humboldt postdoctoral fellow at TU Dresden, Germany. The paper is also co-authored by former intern Vidya Somashekarappa who is currently a PhD student at University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The study was also made possible with the support of Dr Gouri Shanker Patil who specializes in speech pathology at the National Institute of Hearing-Handicapped and has been a longtime collaborator of Prof. Mishra’s lab in deaf studies.


Seema Prasad                                                                                      Dr Gouri Shanker Patil

The paper is part of a continuing line of research on individual differences in visual attention in Prof. Mishra’s lab. Other papers belonging to this line of enquiry can be found on the lab website.

For more details about the study click on the link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028393222000161?dgcid=author