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Brain Research Materials Bibliography

by National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness on Mar 1, 2009
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This is a partial list of materials on this topic available from the NCDB Catalog Database.  If you have additional questions, please contact us via email:

Updated 6/2009


Auditory and Tactile Processing in a Postmeningitic Deaf-Blind Patient with a Cochlear Implant--Osaki, Y., et al. NEUROLOGY, vol. 67, pp. 887-890. (2006) This study examined brain function following cochlear implantation in a 35-year-old patient who became deaf and blind simultaneously as a result of meningitis. The study took place 14 months following implantation. The researchers used PET scanning to study areas of cortical activation while the patient listened to spoken words and read tactile language. They found that auditory stimuli activated the temporal cortices in a manner similar to that of controls, reflecting the successful recruitment of the auditory cortex after implantation. They also found that the patient's occipital lobes were deactivated during the tactile language task.


Autism Spectrum Disorders and Underlying Brain Pathology in CHARGE Association--Johansson, Maria, MD; Rastem, Maria, MD; Billstedt, Eva, BA; Danielsson, Susanna, MD; Miller, Marilyn, MD, PhD; Gillberg, Christopher, MD, PhD. DEVELOPMENTAL MEDICINE & CHILD NEUROLOGY 2006, 48, PP.40-50. (2006) The rate of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and brain abnormalities was analyzed in 31 individuals with CHARGE Association, as part of a multidisciplinary study. A meticulous neuropsychiatric examination was performed, including standardized autism diagnostic interviews. Judgement regarding ASDs was impossible in three infants and three patients who were deaf and blind. Five individuals met diagnostic criteria for autism, five for an autistic-like condition, and seven for autistic traits. Brain abnormalities were indicated in almost three-quarters of examined individuals, and midline abnormalities of the forebrain in one-third. Awareness of the coexistence of CHARGE and ASDs is important in habilitation care in CHARGE. Moreover, the results indicate that a subgroup of ASDs may be associated with errors in early embryonic brain development.


Blindness and Brain Plasticity in Navigation and Object Perception --Rieser, John J. (Ed.); Ashmead, Daniel H. (Ed.); Ford, Ebner F. (Ed.); Corn, Anne L. (Ed.) New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates/Taylor Francis Group. (2008) Research into the development of sensory structures in the brains of blind or visually impaired individuals has opened a window into important ways in which the mind works. For example, in these individuals, the part of the brain that is usually devoted to processing visual information is partially given over to increased processing of the touch and hearing senses. This demonstration of brain plasticity is of great importance to cognitive neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists and has implications for rehabilitation and education specialists who work with visually impaired individuals. This interdisciplinary book features chapters from cognitive and developmental psychologists, neuroscientists, and rehabilitation specialists and educators. A chapter called "The Behavioral and Neurophysiological Effects of Sensory Deprivation," includes information about how the brain responds to auditory deprivation, cross-modal brain plasticity in individuals who are deaf, and experiences following cochlear implantation.


Braille Reading and Brain Function--Salisbury, David. NAPVI AWARENESS SPECIAL DOUBLE ISSUE, 2002, pp. 38-49. Reprinted from Kennedy Center News, March/April 2002. (2002) This article describes research on brain functioning among people who read Braille. Research shows the people who have been blind since birth use different parts of their brain when reading Braille, than those who lost sight later in life. Includes information on Cortical Visual Impairments (CVI) as well as information on a new study on children with CVI. Contact information is also included.


Brain Dysmorphology in Adults with Congenital Rubella Plus Schizophrenialike Symptoms--Lim, Kelvin O.; Beal, D. Michael.; Harvey, Robert L., Jr.; Myers, Tim; Lane, Barton; Sullivan, Edith V.; Faustman, William O.; Pfefferbaum, Adolf. BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY, vol. 37, #11, June 1995, pp. 764-76. (1995) Brain morphology was quantified with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in adult patients with congenital rubella who also had schizophrenialike symptoms. MRIs were compared with those of adult early-onset schizophrenic patients without congenital rubella and age-matched healthy control subjects. The rubella patients had significantly smaller intracranial volumes and shorter stature than the schizophrenic patients or the controls; however, both patient groups had smaller cortical gray matter, but not white matter, volumes than the control group, even when the MRI volumes were corrected for head size and age. In addition, both patient groups showed significant enlargement of the lateral ventricles but not cortical sulci when compared with expected values of normal adults of the same age and head size. Overall, the pattern of dysmorphology was identical in the rubella and the schizophrenic groups. The observations in the rubella group are consistent with a developmental lesion that limits full brain growth, with the small intracranial volume due at least in part to a severe cortical gray matter volume deficit.


Communicating Research to Practice and Practice to Research : From Theoretical Contributions to Therapeutic Interventions--Nicholas, Jude. Paper presented at 13th Deafblind International World Conference on Deafblindness, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, August 5-10, 2003. (2003) This is the text of a plenary session from the 2003 Deafblind International World Conference. Dr. Jude Nicholas from the Resource Center for the Deafblind in Norway, discussed ways to approach research in the field of deafblindness and how to link clinical research and practice. His talk focused primarily on what current cognitive neuroscience can tell us about how sensory deprivation influences brain function, particularly as it relates to concept of neuroplasticity. Available in electronic format.


Cortical Processing of Tactile Language in a Postlingually Deaf-Blind Subject--Osaki, Yasuhiro, et al. NEUROREPORT, vol. 15, #2, pp.287-291. (2004) Neural networks of the brain have been reported to have a certain plasticity, an ability to be remodeled and transformed when one sensory function (e.g., hearing or vision) is absent. However, it is unclear which neural networks are involved in language processing when hearing and vision are lost simultaneously in adulthood. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and positron emission tomography (PET), this study analyzed the neural activations in a postlingually deaf-blind person reading tactile language as compared to 6 normal volunteers. The study found that tactile language activated the brain's language systems as well as higher order systems in the deaf-blind person. Some of these same regions were activated in the 6 normal volunteers but none of them had the same activity distribution as the deaf-blind person, suggesting that enhanced cortical activation of cognitive and semantic processing is involved in the interpretation of tactile sign language.


Cortical Visual Impairment in Children--Edmond, Jane C.; .Foroozan, Rod. Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2006 Dec;17(6):509-12. (2006) PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Cortical visual impairment is rapidly becoming a leading cause of visual loss in children in developed countries predominately because of the improved survival rates of premature infants over the past decade. RECENT FINDINGS: Most cases of cortical visual impairment arise from hypoxic ischemic injury to watershed areas of the brain. In the preterm infant the watershed areas are in the subcortex around the ventricles, while in the term infant the watershed areas are between the major arteries with injury to the subcortex and cortex. Therefore, preterm and term injury will manifest different ocular and visual system abnormalities as a result of this damage. Cognitive visual dysfunction, a type of cortical visual impairment, may occur in cases of damage to the peristriate cortex (association areas of the brain). The anterior visual pathways may also be damaged in a retrograde, transsynaptic fashion in cases of cortical visual impairment. SUMMARY: Cortical visual impairment is a prevalent cause of visual loss in children. It encompasses a wide range of visual disabilities from no light reception to normal visual acuity with cognitive visual dysfunction.


Cross-Modal Plasticity : Where and How? --Bavelier, Daphne; Neville, Helen J. Nature Reviews, Neuroscience, Vol. 3, June 2002, 443-452. (2002) Animal studies have shown that sensory deprivation in one modality can have striking effects on the development of the remaining modalities. Although recent studies of deaf and blind humans have also provided convincing behavioural, electrophysiological and neuroimaging evidence of increased capabilities and altered organization of spared modalities, there is still much debate about the identity of the brain systems that are changed and the mechanisms that mediate these changes. Plastic changes across brain systems and related behaviours vary as a function of the timing and the nature of changes in experience. This specificity must be understood in the context of differences in the maturation rates and timing of the associated critical periods,differences in patterns of transiently existing connections, and differences in molecular factors across brain systems.


Functional Plasticity of Language-Related Brain Areas After Cochlear Implantation--Giraud, Anne Lise; Price, Cathy J.; Graham, John M.; Frackowiak, Richard S. J. BRAIN, vol. 124, 2001, pp. 1307-1316. (2001) This study provides evidence for altered functional specificity of the superior temporal cortex, flexible recruitment of brain regions located within and outside the classical language areas and automatic contribution of visual regions to sounds recognition in cochlear implanted patients. The cerebral network engaged by heard language processing in normal hearing patients was compared in this study with that in patients who received cochlear implants after a period of profound deafness. Introduction, the method of the study, its results and a discussion of the results is provided.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain in Congenital Rubella Virus and Cytomegalovirus Infections--Sugita K; Ando M; Makino M; Takanashi J; Fujimoto N; Niimi H. NEURORADIOLOGY, 1991;33(3), pp.239-242. (1991) Two children with congenital rubella virus and six with cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections, were examined by magnetic resonance (MR) and CT. Cranial MR imaging (MRI) with T2-weighted spin-echo (SE) and inversion recovery (IR) sequences demonstrated the following: periventricular hyperintensity (4), subcortical hyperintensity (5), delayed myelination (4), oligo/pachygyria (2), cerebellar hypoplasia (2). This study showed that the more-disabled children had more marked abnormal MRI findings. MRI was more effective in the detection of parenchymal lesion than was CT, although intraventricular calcification was better visualized with CT.


Making Evaluation Meaningful : Determining Additional Eligibilities and Appropriate Instructional Strategies for Blind and Visually Impaired Students --Loftin, Marnee, M.A., LSSP, LPA. Austin, TX: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. (2005) This volume compiles information on how to evaluate students with visual impairments and blindness, based on experience and workshops at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. It is intended as a comprehensive resource for both evaluation personnel and teachers of the visually impaired to use in the educational planning process. Included are chapters on preparing for an evaluation, observation and interviews, intelligence testing, adaptive behavior, emotional behavior, educational evaluations, and instructional strategies. There are also chapters on evaluation for students with visual impairments who also have the following disabilities: mental retardation, learning disabilities, autism/pervasive developmental disorders, traumatic brain injury and other neurological insults, evaluation when other disabilities coexist with visual impairment, and instructional strategies.


Review of Research: Neuroscience and the Impact of Brain Plasticity on Braille Reading--Hannan, Cheryl Kamei. JOURNAL OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT & BLINDNESS (JVIB), vol.100, #7, July 2006, pp.397-413. (2006) In this systematic review of research, the author analyzes studies of neural cortical activation, brain plasticity, and braille reading. The conclusions regarding the brain's plasticity and ability to reorganize are encouraging for individuals with degenerative eye conditions or late-onset blindness because they indicate that the brain can make new connections that have implications for braille reading, tactile perception, and instruction.


Science, medicine, and the future: Artificial means for restoring vision : Clinical Review --Hossain, Parwez; Seetho, Ian W.; Browning, Andrew C.; Amoaku, Winfried M. BMJ Vol. 330, January 2005, pp.30- 33, (2005) Advances in microtechnology have facilitated the development of a variety of prostheses that can be connected to the brain or implanted in the eye. Some of these approaches have improved the eyesight of patients with visual impairment. This article gives an overview of the methods that are being assessed to restore vision in patients with severe sight loss. Publisher's web site:


Silent Journey to the Brain : Sign Language Tells Us What it Means to be Human--Peter Radetsky. Discover. (Aug '94) This articles addresses neurologist Ursula Bellugi's findings that "sign tells us a great deal about the human capacity for language." Bellugi, considered an expert on the neurobiology of American Sign Language, concludes that "sign language, like spoken language, is predominantly processed in the left side of the brain...and that the left hemisphere has an innate predisposition for language." She goes on to find this "left-hemisphere specialization" for language, both spoken and ASL, only holds true if language is acquired before the age of 18.


Understanding the Tactile Brain: Cognitive Mechanisms, Brain Representations and Communicative Expressions --Nicholas, Jude; Koppen, Anny. 14th DbI World Conference on Deafblindness Conference Proceedings, September 25-30, 2007, Perth, Australia. (2007) This is the text of a workshop presentation given at the 14th DbI World Conference on Deaf-Blindness. The presentation focuses on the neuroscientific understanding of tactile cognitions and attempts to describe the different brain mechanisms involved in tactile cognitions.


The Visual Brain in Action --Milner, A. David; Goodale, Melvyn A. New York: Oxford University Press. Oxford Psychology Series; no 43. (2006) This second edition includes the unchanged text from the original edition plus an epilogue that reviews subsequent developments in relevant areas of psychology, neuroscience and behavior. Especially important are advances in neuroimaging and functional MRI technology that allow scientists to plot in detail the patterns of activity within the visual brains of behaving and perceiving humans. Includes a chapter on cortical blindness.  

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