Congenital unilateral deafness affects cerebral organization of reading

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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. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.




Adorni, R., Manfredi, M., & Proverbio, A. M. (2013). Congenital unilateral deafness affects cerebral organization of reading. Brain Sciences, 3(2), 908–922.

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