Navigation Links
For hearing parts of brain, deafness reorganizes sensory inputs, not behavioral function
Date:5/10/2011

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.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sathya Achia Abraham
sbachia@vcu.edu
804-827-0890
Virginia Commonwealth University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Age-related hearing loss and folate in the elderly
2. Hearing loss study reveals role of bone hardness in tissue function
3. Hearing colors, seeing sounds: New research explores sensory overlap in the brain
4. Scientists closer to grasping how the brains hearing center spurs responses to sound
5. Squid studies provide valuable insights into hearing mechanisms
6. Autism Speaks on US Senate hearing on potential environmental health factors in autism
7. NY state the focus of Congressional hearing on how research and innovation fuel local economies
8. Research reveals that temporary hearing deprivation can lead to lazy ear
9. Gene linked to a rare form of progressive hearing loss in males is identified
10. Escaped proteins add to hearing loss in elderly, UF researchers find
11. Hearing on the wing: New structure discovered in butterfly ears
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2016)... Jan. 20, 2016   MedNet Solutions , an ... spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce the ... achievements are the result of the company,s laser focus ... eClinical , it,s comprehensive, easy-to-use and highly affordable ... --> Key MedNet growth achievements in 2015 include: ...
(Date:1/18/2016)... JOSE, Calif. , Jan. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... security software that simplifies the use and access ... technology and go-to-market partnership with American Cyber.  ... Cyber brings extensive experience leading transformational C4ISR and ... implementing and integrating the latest proven technology solutions," ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... --> --> ... report titled - Biometric Sensors Market - Global Industry Analysis, ... to the report, the global biometric sensors market was valued at ... US$1,625.8 mn by 2023, expanding at a CAGR of ... the biometric sensors market is expected to reach 1,799.6 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Reichert ... years, continues today to pursue the highest level of accuracy and quality with ... AR9 Refractometer and the AR5 Refractometer. Accurate, reliable and tough enough for ...
(Date:2/10/2016)...  The Maryland House of Delegates and House Speaker ... of Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert ... Medical System President and CEO Robert Chrencik , ... honor given to the public by the leader of ... and Mr. Chrencik for their contributions to our ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016  Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ) ... Brent Saunders , Allergan,s CEO and President, will be ... session at the RBC Capital Markets Healthcare Conference on ... The New York Palace Hotel in New ... live and can be accessed on Allergan,s Investor Relations ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... to their comprehensive training and support program, Sonalinkā„¢ remote monitoring. The inaugural launch ... performed on Friday, February 5th, connecting Dr. Samuel Peretsman to a HIFU technical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: