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Congenital Unilateral Deafness Affects Cerebral Organization of Reading
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; in revised form: 17 May 2013 / Accepted: 22 May 2013 / Published: 5 June 2013
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
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Adorni, R.; Manfredi, M.; Proverbio, A.M. Congenital Unilateral Deafness Affects Cerebral Organization of Reading. Brain Sci. 2013, 3, 908-922.
Adorni R, Manfredi M, Proverbio AM. Congenital Unilateral Deafness Affects Cerebral Organization of Reading. Brain Sciences. 2013; 3(2):908-922.
Adorni, Roberta; Manfredi, Mirella; Proverbio, Alice M. 2013. "Congenital Unilateral Deafness Affects Cerebral Organization of Reading." Brain Sci. 3, no. 2: 908-922.