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Trends Cogn Sci. 2006 Nov;10(11):512-8. Epub 2006 Oct 2.

Do deaf individuals see better?

Author information

1
Brain and Cognitive Science Department, Meliora Hall, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0268, USA. daphne@bcs.rochester.edu

Abstract

The possibility that, following early auditory deprivation, the remaining senses such as vision are enhanced has been met with much excitement. However, deaf individuals exhibit both better and worse visual skills than hearing controls. We show that, when deafness is considered to the exclusion of other confounds, enhancements in visual cognition are noted. The changes are not, however, widespread but are selective, limited, as we propose, to those aspects of vision that are attentionally demanding and would normally benefit from auditory-visual convergence. The behavioral changes are accompanied by a reorganization of multisensory areas, ranging from higher-order cortex to early cortical areas, highlighting cross-modal interactions as a fundamental feature of brain organization and cognitive processing.

PMID:
17015029
PMCID:
PMC2885708
DOI:
10.1016/j.tics.2006.09.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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