The Extent of Hearing Input Affects the Plasticity the Auditory Cortex in Children With Hearing LosA Preliminary Study

Di Yuan, Iris H.Y. Ng, Gangyi Feng, Wai Tsz Chang, Michael C.F. Tong, Nancy M. Young, Patrick C.M. Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study investigated to what extent residual hearing and rehabiltion options (e.g., hearing aids [HAs]) affect the auditory cortex in children hearing loss. Method: Twenty-one children with bilateral congenital sensorineural hearinloss who were candidates for cochlear implantation were recruited. Voxel-basmorphometry analysis was conducted to assess the gray matter (GM) volumthe auditory cortex. Children’s residual hearing was measured by pure-toaudiometry at different frequencies. Multiple linear regression models were coducted to examine the effects of residual hearing and the use of HAs on volume in the auditory cortex with the control of age and gender. Results: Children with more residual hearing at high frequencies had larger volume ratio (corrected by total intracranial volume) in the left Heschl’s g(r = −.545, p = .013). An interaction effect between residual hearing and the of HAs suggested that the effect of residual hearing on GM ratio was mated by the use of HAs (β = −.791, p = .020). Compared with children witresidual hearing, children who had more residual hearing benefited more frlonger use of HAs in terms of a larger GM ratio. Conclusions: Our preliminary findings highlight the impact of residual hearion the neuroanatomy of the auditory cortex in children with hearing loss. Mover, our results call for more auditory input via HAs for children with residual hearing to preserve the auditory cortex before cochlear implantatiFor children with less residual hearing who might receive limited benefit fHAs, an early cochlear implant would be necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-390
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Audiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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