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Brain activation in patients with congenital bilateral hearing impairment

Hwang, Juen-Haura d; Wu, Chang-Weib; Lee, Chia-Weib; Chen, Jyh-Horngb; Liu, Tien-Chenc

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282e9a73e

Twelve patients with idiopathic, congenital, symmetric, moderate-to-severe sensorineural hearing loss participated in this study. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed while speech sounds were presented to each patient monaurally. Notable blood oxygenation level-dependent responses were clustered mainly in the superior temporal gyrus and transverse temporal gyrus of both hemispheres during right and left ear stimulation. In addition, the middle temporal gyrus of the right hemisphere was activated during right ear stimulation. The activation pattern was very similar to that of participants with normal hearing. Thus, as long as peripheral acoustic stimulation has not been totally absent from childhood, the classical activation pattern can be elicited in patients with congenital bilateral hearing impairment.

aCollege of Medicine, Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine

bInterdisciplinary MRI/MRS Lab, Department of Electrical Engineering

cDepartment of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei

dDepartment of Otolaryngology, Buddhist Dalin Tzu Chi General Hospital, Chiayi, Taiwan

Correspondence to Dr Tien-Chen Liu, Department of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: +886 2 23123456, ext 5896; fax: +886 2 23410905; e-mail:

Received 18 May 2007; accepted 20 May 2007

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.