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Title:Neural systems supporting enhanced peripheral visual attention in deaf adults
Author(s):Seymour, Jenessa Lynn
Director of Research:Dye, Matthew W.G.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Gratton, Gabriele
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Beck, Diane; Fabiani, Monica; Aronoff, Justin
Department / Program:Neuroscience Program
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Neural plasticity, the ability of neural tissue to adapt to a number of environments, is considered a defining characteristic of the brain. However, plasticity is poorly understood at the systems level. The exact limits of neural plasticity, which areas can adapt and what functions they can perform, have not been well described in the literature. The study of deaf individuals represents a unique window into this phenomenon. Areas of the brain that are considered part of auditory cortex in a hearing person are still present in deaf individuals. Which functions these areas of cortex can perform in a deaf person, and which they cannot, may help us to understand the limits of plasticity in these tissues. Chapter 1 reviews the literature on neurological and behavioral changes in the deaf as it pertains to visual processing. Chapter 2 describes an optical imaging study, which used a peripheral visual attention task and fast optical imaging to examine changes in the auditory cortex of deaf individuals. Chapter 3 describes event-related potential (ERP) data on changes in an auditory ERP and attention-related components. Finally, Chapter 4 reviews the findings described above and proposes future directions for this research.
Issue Date:2017-03-15
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Jenessa Seymour
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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