Auditory perception and cortical plasticity after long-term blindness
Huber, Elizabeth G.
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The study of blindness provides a context for examining neural plasticity in the adult and developing brain, and for asking basic questions about the principles that guide neural computation in sensory cortex. By noting how a system operates when its inputs are altered, we gain insight into the rules that govern its function. The experiments described in this dissertation combine functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with behavioral methods and computational modeling to examine three issues: (1) Does longstanding blindness affect the cortical representation of auditory frequency? (2) Can we relate cortical representations of auditory frequency to behavioral discrimination, and/or to higher-order phenomena like auditory motion processing? (3) How do visual and auditory responses in adult sight-recovery subjects compare to responses observed in individuals without a history of blindness, and in those with sustained blindness?
- Psychology