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Int J Audiol. 2007 Sep;46(9):494-9.

Deprivation-induced cortical reorganization in children with cochlear implants.

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Brain and Behavior Laboratory, Dept. of Speech Language and Hearing Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, CO 80309-0409, USA.


A basic finding in developmental neurophysiology is that some areas of the cortex cortical areas will reorganize following a period of stimulus deprivation. In this review, we discuss mainly electroencephalography (EEG) studies of normal and deprivation-induced abnormal development of the central auditory pathways in children and in animal models. We describe age cut-off for sensitive periods for central auditory development in congenitally deaf children who are fitted with a cochlear implant. We speculate on mechanisms of decoupling and reorganization which may underlie the end of the sensitive period. Finally, we describe new magentoencephalography (MEG) evidence of somatosensory cross-modal plasticity following long-term auditory deprivation.

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