Investig Magn Reson Imaging.  2015 Mar;19(1):1-9. 10.13104/imri.2015.19.1.1.

Reduced Gray Matter Volume of Auditory Cortical and Subcortical Areas in Congenitally Deaf Adolescents: A Voxel-Based Morphometric Study

Affiliations
  • 1Neuroimaging Lab., Neuroscience Research Institute, Kangwon National University Hospital, Chuncheon, Korea. wstae@kangwon.ac.kr

Abstract

PURPOSE
Several morphometric studies have been performed to investigate brain abnormalities in congenitally deaf people. But no report exists concerning structural brain abnormalities in congenitally deaf adolescents. We evaluated the regional volume changes in gray matter (GM) using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) in congenitally deaf adolescents.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A VBM8 methodology was applied to the T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of eight congenitally deaf adolescents (mean age, 15.6 years) and nine adolescents with normal hearing. All MRI scans were normalized to a template and then segmented, modulated, and smoothed. Smoothed GM data were tested statistically using analysis of covariance (controlled for age, gender, and intracranial cavity volume).
RESULTS
The mean values of age, gender, total volumes of GM, and total intracranial volume did not differ between the two groups. In the auditory centers, the left anterior Heschl's gyrus and both inferior colliculi showed decreased regional GM volume in the congenitally deaf adolescents. The GM volumes of the lingual gyri, nuclei accumbens, and left posterior thalamic reticular nucleus in the midbrain were also decreased.
CONCLUSIONS
The results of the present study suggest that early deprivation of auditory stimulation in congenitally deaf adolescents might have caused significant underdevelopment of the auditory cortex (left Heschl's gyrus), subcortical auditory structures (inferior colliculi), auditory gain controllers (nucleus accumbens and thalamic reticular nucleus), and multisensory integration areas (inferior colliculi and lingual gyri). These defects might be related to the absence of general auditory perception, the auditory gating system of thalamocortical transmission, and failure in the maturation of the auditory-to-limbic connection and the auditorysomatosensory-visual interconnection.

Keyword

Congenital deafness; Inferior colliculus; Heschl's gyrus; Lingual gyri; Multisensory integration system

MeSH Terms

Acoustic Stimulation
Adolescent*
Auditory Cortex
Auditory Perception
Brain
Hearing
Humans
Inferior Colliculi
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Mesencephalon
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