Scientific article

Understanding the deafened brain: implications for cochlear implant rehabilitation

Publication date2012

The cochlear implant (CI), by enabling oral communication in severely to profoundly deaf subjects, is one of the major medical advances over the last fifty years. Despite the globally very satisfactory results, individual outcomes vary considerably. The objective of this review is to describe the various factors influencing the results of CI rehabilitation with particular emphasis on the better understanding of neurocognitive mechanisms provided by functional brain imaging. The following aspects will be discussed: 1. Peripheral predictors such as the degree of preservation of nerve structures and the positioning of the electrode array. 2. The duration of auditory deprivation whose influence on brain reorganization is now becoming more clearly understood. 3. The age of initiation of hearing rehabilitation in subjects with pre-lingual deafness influencing the possibility of physiological maturation of nerve structures. 4. The concepts of sensitive period, decoupling and cross-modality. 5. In post-lingually deaf adults, brain plasticity can allow adaptation to the disability induced by deafness, subsequently potentiating CI rehabilitation, particularly as a result of audiovisual interactions. 6. Several studies provide concordant evidence that implanted patients present different phonological analysis and primary linguistic capacities. The results of CI rehabilitation are dependent on factors situated between the cochlea and cortical associative areas. The importance of higher cognitive influences on the functional results of cochlear implantation justify adaptation of coding strategies, as well as global cognitive management of deaf patients by utilising brain plasticity capacities.

  • Adult
  • Auditory Cortex/physiopathology
  • Child
  • Cochlear Implantation/rehabilitation
  • Deafness/physiopathology/rehabilitation/surgery
  • Humans
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
LAZARD, D S et al. Understanding the deafened brain: implications for cochlear implant rehabilitation. In: European annals of otorhinolaryngology, head and neck diseases, 2012, vol. 129, n° 2, p. 98–103. doi: 10.1016/j.anorl.2011.06.001
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1879-7296

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