Auditory Pathway Encoding and Neural Plasticity in Children with Learning ProblemsKraus N.
Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., USA
An inability to process auditory information, especially speech, characterizes many children with learning and attention problems. Our working hypothesis is that these speech-sound perception problems arise, at least in some cases, from faulty representation of the speech signal in central auditory centers. Preconscious neurophysiologic representation of sound structure by central auditory pathway neurons can be reflected by subcortical and cortical aggregate neural responses. These neurophysiologic responses can be modified by perceptual learning. Our research has shown that some children with learning problems demonstrate abnormal perception and neural representation of certain speech sounds. Differences between normal and learning-impaired groups can be attributable to aspects of neural synchrony that are reflected in aggregate neural responses. Deficiencies in neural synchrony in these children are apparent in subcortical (as well as cortical) representations of speech-sound structure, and these timing deficits are related to performance on speech-sound perception and learning measures. Moreover, impaired perception and neurophysiologic encoding of speech sounds can be improved with cue enhancement and can be modified by perceptual learning associated with auditory training.
© 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel
Supported by NIH RO1 DC 01510.
Number of Print Pages : 7
Number of Figures : 2, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 95
Audiology & Neuro-Otology (Basic Research and Clinical Applications)
Vol. 6, No. 4, Year 2001 (Cover Date: July-August 2001)
Journal Editor: Manfried Hoke, Münster, Germany
ISSN: 1420–3030 (print), 1421–9700 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/journals/aud