Title

CORTICAL PROCESSING OF TACTILE LANGUAGE IN A POSTLINGUALLY DEAF-BLIND SUBJECT

Authors

Yasuhiro Osaki

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2004

Abstract

Neural networks of the brain have been reported to have a certain plasticity, an ability to be remodeled and transformed when one sensory function (e.g., hearing or vision) is absent. However, it is unclear which neural networks are involved in language processing when hearing and vision are lost simultaneously in adulthood. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and positron emission tomography (PET), this study analyzed the neural activations in a post-lingually deaf-blind person reading tactile language as compared to 6 normal volunteers. The study found that tactile language activated the brain's language systems as well as higher order systems in the deaf-blind person. Some of these same regions were activated in the 6 normal volunteers but none of them had the same activity distribution as the deaf-blind person, suggesting that enhanced cortical activation of cognitive and semantic processing is involved in the interpretation of tactile sign language. NEUROREPORT, vol. 15, #2, pp.287-291

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