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Neural networks mediating sentence reading in the deaf

Hirshorn, EA and Dye, MWG and Hauser, PC and Supalla, TR and Bavelier, D (2014) Neural networks mediating sentence reading in the deaf. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8 (JUNE).

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The present work addresses the neural bases of sentence reading in deaf populations. To better understand the relative role of deafness and spoken language knowledge in shaping the neural networks that mediate sentence reading, three populations with different degrees of English knowledge and depth of hearing loss were included-deaf signers, oral deaf and hearing individuals. The three groups were matched for reading comprehension and scanned while reading sentences. A similar neural network of left perisylvian areas was observed, supporting the view of a shared network of areas for reading despite differences in hearing and English knowledge. However, differences were observed, in particular in the auditory cortex, with deaf signers and oral deaf showing greatest bilateral superior temporal gyrus (STG) recruitment as compared to hearing individuals. Importantly, within deaf individuals, the same STG area in the left hemisphere showed greater recruitment as hearing loss increased. To further understand the functional role of such auditory cortex re-organization after deafness, connectivity analyses were performed from the STG regions identified above. Connectivity from the left STG toward areas typically associated with semantic processing (BA45 and thalami) was greater in deaf signers and in oral deaf as compared to hearing. In contrast, connectivity from left STG toward areas identified with speech-based processing was greater in hearing and in oral deaf as compared to deaf signers. These results support the growing literature indicating recruitment of auditory areas after congenital deafness for visually-mediated language functions, and establish that both auditory deprivation and language experience shape its functional reorganization. Implications for differential reliance on semantic vs. phonological pathways during reading in the three groups is discussed. © 2014 Hirshorn, Dye, Hauser, Supalla and Bavelier.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hirshorn, EA
Dye, MWG
Hauser, PC
Supalla, TR
Bavelier, D
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Learning Research & Development Center
Date: 10 June 2014
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Volume: 8
Number: JUNE
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00394
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2015 21:38
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2018 00:55


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