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Reprogramming the Cerebral CortexPlasticity following central and peripheral lesions$
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Stephen Lomber and Jos Eggermont

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198528999

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198528999.001.0001

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Sound localization in early-blind human subjects

Sound localization in early-blind human subjects

Evidence for adaptive cortical plasticity

(p.395) Chapter 23 Sound localization in early-blind human subjects
Reprogramming the Cerebral Cortex

Dave Saint-Amour

Jean-Paul Guillemot

Maryse Lassonde

Franco Lepore

Oxford University Press

The idea that early-blind subjects may be able to compensate their loss of vision by developing a greater efficiency in the use of their other sensory modalities — primarily touch and audition — was expressed more than two centuries ago by Diderot in his ‘Lettre sur les Aveugles’ (1749). This chapter explores this notion by asking whether or not blind people develop compensatory capacities that render them more proficient in the processing of auditory stimuli than sighted people. It then discusses the possible mechanisms by which intermodal compensation may be achieved.

Keywords:   congenital blindess, touch, audition, compensatory capacities, intermodal compensation

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