The aim of our research was to estimate the time course of development and plasticity of the human central auditory pathways following cochlear implantation. We recorded cortical auditory-evoked potentials in 3-year-old congenitally deaf children after they were fitted with cochlear implants. Immediately after implantation cortical response latencies resembled those of normal-hearing newborns. Over the next few months, the cortical evoked responses showed rapid changes in morphology and latency that resulted in age-appropriate latencies by 8 months after implantation. Overall, the development of cortical response latencies for the implanted children was more rapid than for their normal-hearing age-matched peers. Our results demonstrate a high degree of central auditory system plasticity during early human development.
- Cochlear implant
- Cortical auditory-evoked potentials
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