Congenital deafness reduces, but does not eliminate auditory responsiveness in cat extrastriate visual cortex

Rüdiger Land, Jan-Ole Radecke, Andrej Kral

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Congenital deafness not only affects the development of the auditory cortex, but also the interrelation between the visual and auditory system. For example, congenital deafness leads to visual modulation of the deaf auditory cortex in the form of cross-modal plasticity. Here we asked, whether congenital deafness additionally affects auditory modulation in the visual cortex. We demonstrate that auditory activity, which is normally present in the lateral suprasylvian visual areas in normal hearing cats, can also be elicited by electrical activation of the auditory system with cochlear implants. We then show that in adult congenitally deaf cats auditory activity in this region was reduced when tested with cochlear implant stimulation. However, the change in this area was small and auditory activity was not completely abolished despite years of congenital deafness. The results document that congenital deafness leads not only to changes in the auditory cortex but also affects auditory modulation of visual areas. However, the results further show a persistence of fundamental cortical sensory functional organization despite congenital deafness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • cochlear implants
  • deafness
  • congenital deafness
  • auditory cortex
  • visual cortex
  • plasticity


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