Paris, 29 october 2013

Hearing through sight

Cochlear implants allow adults who have become profoundly deaf to recover the ability to understand speech. However, recovery differs between individuals. Activating the visual regions of the brain has proved essential to the satisfactory recovery of hearing, according to a new study by the Centre de Recherche Cerveau et Cognition (CERCO, CNRS/Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier), carried out in close collaboration with the ENT department at Hôpital Purpan in Toulouse. The more the area of the brain responsible for vision is activated immediately after implantation, the better the individual's speech understanding performance six months later. There is therefore a synergy between sight and hearing, resulting in a gradual improvement in the decoding of speech. These findings, which have just been published in Brain, illustrate the crucial role of brain plasticity. And they may make it possible to develop diagnostic tools for specific rehabilitation.

To download the press release : Implants


Visual activity predicts auditory recovery from deafness after adult cochlear implantation. Kuzma Strelnikov, Julien Rouger, Jean-François Demonet, Sebastien Lagleyre, Bernard Fraysse, Olivier Deguine and Pascal Barone. Brain (2013). Published online on October 17, 2013 and in print in December 2013.
DOI: 10.1093/brain/awt274


CNRS scientist l Pascal Barone l T +33 5 62 74 61 50 l
Hospital researcher-PUPH l Olivier Deguine l
CNRS Press l Priscilla Dacher l T +33 1 44 96 46 06 l


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