Does the lateral temporal cortex require acoustic exposure in order to become specialized for speech processing? Six hearing participants and six congenitally deaf participants, all with spoken English as their first language, were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a simple speech-reading task. Focal activation of the left lateral temporal cortex was significantly reduced in the deaf group compared with the hearing group. Activation within this region was present in individual deaf participants, but varied in location from person to person. Early acoustic experience may be required for regions within the left temporal cortex in order to develop into a coherent network with subareas deyoted to specific speech analysis functions.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
|Published - 2001