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Brain Sci. 2013, 3(2), 908-922; doi:10.3390/brainsci3020908
Article

Congenital Unilateral Deafness Affects Cerebral Organization of Reading

* ,
 and
Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo 1, Milan 20126, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 March 2013 / Revised: 17 May 2013 / Accepted: 22 May 2013 / Published: 5 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain and Language)
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Abstract

It is known that early sensory deprivation modifies brain functional structure and connectivity. The aim of the present study was to investigate the neuro-functional organization of reading in a patient with profound congenital unilateral deafness. Using event-related potentials (ERPs), we compared cortical networks supporting the processing of written words in patient RA (completely deaf in the right ear since birth) and in a group of control volunteers. We found that congenital unilateral hearing deprivation modifies neural mechanisms of word reading. Indeed, while written word processing was left-lateralized in controls, we found a strong right lateralization of the fusiform and inferior occipital gyri activation in RA. This finding goes in the same direction of recent proposals that the ventral occipito-temporal activity in word reading seem to lateralize to the same hemisphere as the one involved in spoken language processing.
Keywords: ERPs; LORETA (low resolution electromagnetic tomography); N170; ventral occipito-temporal (vOT) cortex; reading; deafness; hemispheric asymmetry; neuroplasticity ERPs; LORETA (low resolution electromagnetic tomography); N170; ventral occipito-temporal (vOT) cortex; reading; deafness; hemispheric asymmetry; neuroplasticity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Adorni, R.; Manfredi, M.; Proverbio, A.M. Congenital Unilateral Deafness Affects Cerebral Organization of Reading. Brain Sci. 2013, 3, 908-922.

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