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    Does congenital deafness affect the structural and functional architecture of primary visual cortex?

    Smittenaar, C.R. and MacSweeney, M. and Sereno, Martin I. and Schwarzkopf, D.S. (2016) Does congenital deafness affect the structural and functional architecture of primary visual cortex? The Open Neuroimaging Journal 10 (1), pp. 1-19. ISSN 1874-4400.

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    Abstract

    Deafness results in greater reliance on the remaining senses. It is unknown whether the cortical architecture of the intact senses is optimized to compensate for lost input. Here we performed widefield population receptive field (pRF) mapping of primary visual cortex (V1) with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in hearing and congenitally deaf participants, all of whom had learnt sign language after the age of 10 years. We found larger pRFs encoding the peripheral visual field of deaf compared to hearing participants. This was likely driven by larger facilitatory center zones of the pRF profile concentrated in the near and far periphery in the deaf group. pRF density was comparable between groups, indicating pRFs overlapped more in the deaf group. This could suggest that a coarse coding strategy underlies enhanced peripheral visual skills in deaf people. Cortical thickness was also decreased in V1 in the deaf group. These findings suggest deafness causes structural and functional plasticity at the earliest stages of visual cortex.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Deafness, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), primary visual cortex (V1), peripheral visual field (PVF)
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 16 May 2016 14:28
    Last Modified: 22 May 2017 13:03
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/15182

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