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Brain Res. 2008 Nov 6;1239:56-65. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.08.026. Epub 2008 Aug 18.

Cortical reorganization in children with cochlear implants.

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Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Science, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2501 Kittredge Loop Rd., 409 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0409, USA.


Congenital deafness leads to atypical organization of the auditory nervous system. However, the extent to which auditory pathways reorganize during deafness is not well understood. We recorded cortical auditory evoked potentials in normal hearing children and in congenitally deaf children fitted with cochlear implants. High-density EEG and source modeling revealed principal activity from auditory cortex in normal hearing and early implanted children. However, children implanted after a critical period of seven years revealed activity from parietotemporal cortex in response to auditory stimulation, demonstrating reorganized cortical pathways. Reorganization of central auditory pathways is limited by the age at which implantation occurs, and may help explain the benefits and limitations of implantation in congenitally deaf children.

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