Postnatal cortical development in congenital auditory deprivation

A. Kral*, J. Tillein, S. Heid, R. Hartmann, R. Klinke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)


The study investigates early postnatal development of local field potentials (LFPs) in the primary auditory cortex of hearing and congenially deaf cats. In hearing cats, LFPs elicited by electrical intracochlear stimulation demonstrated developmental changes in mid-latency range, including reductions in peak and onset latencies of individual waves and a maturation of their shape and latencies during the first 2 months of life. In long latency range (>80 ms), the P1/N1 response appeared after the fourth week of life and further increased in amplitude and decreased in latency, reaching mature shapes between the fourth and sixth months after birth (p.n.). Cortical activated areas became increasingly smaller during the first 3 months of life, reaching mature values at the fourth month p.n. The layer-specific pattern of synaptic activity matured 4 months p.n. In congenially deaf cats, the developmental pattern was different. The lowest cortical LFP thresholds were significantly smaller than in hearing controls, demonstrating a 'hypersensitivity' to sensory inputs. The development of Nb waves was delayed and altered and the long latency responses became smaller than in controls at the second and third months. The activated areas remained smaller than in controls until the third month, then they increased rapidly and exceeded the activated areas of age-matched controls. From the fourth month on, the activated areas decreased again and smaller synaptic currents were found in deaf cats than in controls. The presented data demonstrate that functional development of the auditory cortex critically depends on auditory experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-562
Number of pages11
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Auditory cortex
  • Cochlear implant
  • Deaf white cats
  • Deafness
  • Hearing loss


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