Chapter

Plasticity of the Human Auditory Cortex

Christo Pantev, Nathan Weisz, Michael Schulte and Thomas Elbert

in Filling-In

Published in print April 2003 | ISBN: 9780195140132
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865307 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140132.003.0012
 Plasticity of the Human Auditory Cortex

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This chapter discusses the relationship between neuroplastic changes in the auditory cortex and its perceptual manifestations. It shows that deafferentation due to cochlear damage in patients with high-frequency hearing loss goes along with an enlargement of the lesion-edge frequency. Plastic modifications of the tonotopic map following deafferentation may also underlie the expanded representation of the tinnitus frequency found in tinnitus patients. Thus, a mechanism designed to adjust cortical organization to the individual's needs and environment may have maladaptive consequences. In the intact organism, cortical reorganization is an essential basis for training and adaptive responses, like the ability to acquire motor or perceptual skills and to model the environment in the form of context-dependent cortical representational maps.

Keywords: cortical reorganization; plasticity; cortical auditory system; deafferentation; perception

Chapter.  8487 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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