Neuroplasticity in congenitally deaf individuals

Friday, 2016, December 16 - 12:00
Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação, Universidade de Coimbra


In this talk I will focus how the brain can plastically change as a response to congenital sensorial deprivation – and specifically in congenital deafness. In particular, I will address questions regarding 1) Whether and how the auditory cortex of the congenitally deaf processes information from the spared senses – e.g., visual input; 2) How the auditory cortex is functionally organized and what kind of representations it holds; and 3) How does that information reach the auditory cortex. 

That is, the data that I will present will bring a new understanding of how neuroplasticity changes the auditory cortex (and other structures) of the congenitally deaf so that it processes information from different senses. In doing so, I will show how deep can a cortical tissue be changed – both in terms of its connectivity, representational content, and functional organization. 

Suggested papers:

Almeida, J., He, D., Chen, Q., Mahon, B.Z., Nunes, G., Gonçalves, O.F., Fang, F., & Bi, Y. (2015).Decoding visual location from neural patterns in the auditory cortex of the congenitally deaf. Psychological Science, 26(11), 1771-1782.

Bavelier, D. & Neville, H. (2002). Cross-modal plasticity: where and how? Nat Rev Neurosci, 3, 443-452. (