Early-onset hearing loss reorganizes the visual and auditory network in children without cochlear implantation

Neuroreport. 2016 Feb 10;27(3):197-202. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000000524.


The present study investigates the effect of early-onset hearing loss on the reorganization of visual and auditory networks in children without cochlear implants. Eleven congenitally deaf children and 12 age-matched hearing children were included in the study. Bilateral transverse temporal cortices and bilateral lateral occipital cortices were defined as auditory and visual seeds, respectively (as verified using an independent component analysis). The four seed-based connectivity maps were computed for each participant. As a result, group analysis showed that the primary auditory cortex was less connected with the motor cortex, whereas the visual cortex showed strengthened connectivity with motor and speech cortices in congenitally deaf children compared with the controls. Moreover, we found that the differences in functional connectivity between deaf and control children were not because of morphometric changes. Our results provide neural evidence for the sensorimotor coupling model of speech development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Auditory Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Connectome / methods*
  • Deafness / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Motor Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Wernicke Area / physiopathology*