Unimodal and cross-modal plasticity in the 'deaf' auditory cortex

Andrej Kral*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Congenital auditory deprivation leads to deficits in the auditory cortex. The present review focuses on central aspects of auditory deprivation: development, plasticity, corticocortical interactions, and cross-modal reorganization. We compile imaging data from human subjects, electroencephalographic data from cochlear implanted children, and animal research on congenital deafness. Behavioral, electroencephalographic, and imaging data in humans correspond well to data behavioral and neurophysiological data obtained from congenitally deaf cats. The available data indicate that auditory deprivation leads to 'decoupling' of the primary auditory cortex from cognitive modulation of higher-order auditory areas. Higher-order auditory areas undergo a strong cross-modal reorganization and take-over new functions. Due to these and other deficits of intrinsic microcircuitry, the cortical column can not integrate bottom-up and top-down influences in deaf auditory cortex. In the ultimate consequence perceptual learning is compromised, resulting in sensitive periods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-493
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Auditory cortex
  • Cochlear implant
  • Congenital deprivation
  • Deaf white cat
  • Development
  • Plasticity
  • Sensitive periods
  • Top-down effects


Dive into the research topics of 'Unimodal and cross-modal plasticity in the 'deaf' auditory cortex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this