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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 (CC BY 3.0).
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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.

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