We review evidence for cross-modal cortical re-organization in clinical populations with hearing loss. Cross-modal plasticity refers to the ability for an intact sensory modality (e.g., vision or somatosensation) to recruit cortical brain regions from a deprived sensory modality (e.g., audition) to carry out sensory processing. We describe evidence for cross-modal changes in hearing loss across the age-spectrum and across different degrees of hearing impairment, including children with profound, bilateral deafness with cochlear implants, single-sided deafness before and after cochlear implantation, and adults with early-stage, mild-moderate, age-related hearing loss. Understanding cross-modal plasticity in the context of auditory deprivation, and the potential for reversal of these changes following intervention, may be vital in directing intervention and rehabilitation options for clinical populations with hearing loss.
Sharma, Anu and Glick, Hannah, "Cross-Modal Re-Organization in Clinical Populations with Hearing Loss." (2016). Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Faculty Contributions. 1.