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Nat Neurosci. 2001 Dec;4(12):1171-3.

Visual stimuli activate auditory cortex in the deaf.

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Psychology Department-0109, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.


Previous brain imaging studies have demonstrated responses to tactile and auditory stimuli in visual cortex of blind subjects, suggesting that removal of one sensory modality leads to neural reorganization of the remaining modalities. To investigate whether similar 'cross-modal' plasticity occurs in human auditory cortex, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure visually evoked activity in auditory areas of both early-deafened and hearing individuals. Here we find that deaf subjects exhibit activation in a region of the right auditory cortex, corresponding to Brodmann's areas 42 and 22, as well as in area 41 (primary auditory cortex), demonstrating that early deafness results in the processing of visual stimuli in auditory cortex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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