National Centre for Audiology

The effects of long-term deafness and chronic intra-cochlear electrical stimulation on the primary auditory cortex

James Fallon, PhDProlonged periods of deafness, from a young age, are known to alter processing in the auditory system. For example, partial deafness can result in over representation of lesion edge frequencies in primary auditory cortex, while profound deafness can result in a complete scrambling of the normal cochleotopic organization. For the past decade we have been examining the effects of reactivation of the deafened auditory pathway, via a cochlear implant, and the timing of the re-introduction of activity (i.e. the preceding duration of deafness). We have utilized a range of techniques from anatomical, through electrophysiological to behavioral to attempt to address these issues. In short, reactivation of the deafened auditory pathway, with chronic intracochlear electrical stimulation, appears to maintain most, but not all, of the central auditory system in a near normal state. Delayed reactivation, beyond the critical period, was able to reverse some of the deafness induced changes, although it was less effective.

Details: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 1:00 - 2:30pm at Elborn College RM 2262T, National Centre for Audiology.

Guest: James Fallon, PhD, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Bionics Institue and the University of Melbourne, Austrailia.