For hearing parts of brain, deafness reorganizes sensory inputs, not behavioral function
The part of the brain that uses hearing to determine sound location is reorganized in deaf animals to locate visual targets, according to a new study by a team of researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Western Ontario in Canada.
These findings propose a new theory for cross-modal plasticity: loss of one sensory modality is substituted by another while maintaining the original function of the brain region.
It is known that persons who have suffered major sensory loss, such as deafness, show compensatory, or even superior performance in the remaining senses. This occurs through a process of cross-modal plasticity, where loss of one sensory modality is replaced by the remaining senses. But researchers have not known how the brain region vacated by one sensory modality selects its sensory replacement until now.
In a study, published online the week of May 9 in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team first examined the region of auditory cortex in hearing adult animals that responded to auditory stimuli and controlled orienting and localization behaviors in response to sounds.
"However, in deaf animals, that same cortical region responded to visual stimuli yet still controlled orienting and localization behaviors, thus preserving the functional role of the region despite the loss of its original sensory inputs," said principal investigator Alex Meredith, Ph.D., professor in the VCU Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology in the VCU School of Medicine.
According to Meredith, this research provides insight into brain reorganization following sensory loss, which may help researchers better understand how rehabilitative medicine, such as cochlear implants, may function more effectively in deaf patients.
These findings build on research published last year in the journal Nature Neuroscience by Meredith and colleagues from the University of Western Ontario. That research examined the brain regions in congenitally deaf adult animals responsible for cross-modal plasticity. Those results showed that cross-modal plasticity does not randomly distribute across the areas of the brain vacated by the lost sensory modality, but demonstrated that cross-modal plasticity takes up residence in selected areas. The present study indicates that brain areas exhibiting cross-modal plasticity retain their original behavioral function.
Provided by Virginia Commonwealth University
- Researchers studying hearing loss find auditory regions of the brain convert to the sense of touch Mar 24, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Research discovers how the deaf have super vision Oct 10, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Developmental delay in brain provides clue to sensory hypersensitivity in autism Feb 10, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Study watches the brain 'shutting off' Apr 19, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Research shows how sensory-deprived brain compensates Apr 17, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
May 23, 2013 Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
New research presented today shows that formation of new neurons in the hippocampus - a brain region known for its importance in learning and remembering - could cause forgetting of old memories by causing a reorganization ...
Neuroscience 1 hour ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
How can healthy people who hear voices help schizophrenics? Finding the answer for this is at the centre of research conducted at the University of Bergen.
Neuroscience 2 hours ago | 3 / 5 (1) | 2
One of the major frontiers of modern science is a comprehensive understanding of the human brain and its functions to guide the development of new technologies in information and communication. In a major announcement for ...
Neuroscience 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
Neuroscience 17 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (7) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—The human brain is able to identify individuals' voices by comparing them against an internal 'average voice' prototype, according to neuroscientists.
Neuroscience 21 hours ago | 1 / 5 (1) | 2 |
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Ernie Pyle – an iconic war correspondent in World War II – reportedly said "There are no atheists in foxholes." A new joint study between two brothers at Cornell and Virginia Wesleyan found that only ...
1 hour ago | 3 / 5 (1) | 0
Researchers from London's Kingston University have begun a two-year study which could help prolong the lives of people with colorectal tumours.
2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Patients with diabetes who are depressed are much more likely to develop episodes of dangerously low blood sugars, or hypoglycemia, than are those who are not depressed, a new study has ...
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
The individualisation of drug treatments to support patients to self-manage their conditions is a concept that sits at the heart of policy, but a recent study in BMJ Open shows that there is no concrete defini ...
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Research by Stanford scholar Emma Seppala at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education found that post-traumatic stress disorder decreased in veterans who participated ...
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0