“Ultra-Fast Speech Comprehension In Blind Subjects Engages Primary Visual Cortex, Fusiform Gyrus, And Pulvinar A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Fmri) Study” by Dietrich, Susanne, Ingo Hertrich, and Hermann Ackermann
The article asserts that persons with vision impairment of a peripheral origin can learn to comprehend vocalized language at a frequency of up to twenty-two syllables in a second (Dietrich, Hertrich and Ackermann 1). The rate surpasses the maximum speed of normal-sighted hearers, which are eight syllables per second. In the article, functional magnetic resonance images (fMRI) were obtained from people with vision impairment to clarify further the brain mechanisms behind this unusual ability. The experiment comprised of 25 participants. They consisted of 14 visually impaired individuals and 12 sighted subjects.
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People without sight understand speech at an enhanced speed compared with normally sighted individuals (Eardley and Pring 37). In the article, the researchers investigate how the brain speed up auditory comprehension in visually impaired persons (Dietrich, Hertrich and Ackermann 4). Both sightless and sighted persons were made to lie inside an MRI while listening to ultrafast dialogue. Later, the researchers investigated the brain areas triggered by the initiative. Results obtained by the brain scanner indicated that in visually impaired individuals the regions of the cerebral cortex, which usually replied to vision were responding to utterances. The involved brain regions are right-hemispheric primary visual cortex, contralateral fusiform gyrus, and bilateral pulvinar (Dietrich, Hertrich and Ackermann 8). They are located at the rear end of the skull (Jaworska-Biskup 78). In normal sighted persons, a large part of the brain is dedicated to optical processing (Li 830). In visually impaired persons, all this brain command would be unutilized (Mast 56). However, it was found out that somehow visually impaired individual’s brain rewires itself to link auditory areas of the mind to the optical cortex (Smits 65). It is for this reason that visually impaired persons have an enhanced capability of high-speed listening understanding.
Understanding of brain function
Fig 1 illustrates hemodynamic reactions to the four experimental situations. The results were obtained from both blind and sighted participants. All the four-test resources presented a BOLD signal variation in the main auditory regions of each hemisphere and neighboring tissues of the greater temporal cortex.
The above image demonstrates particular triggering spots intersecting the V1 regions of seven visually impaired members. They comprised of six late blind and one early blind participant. All the members exhibited triggered voxels inside V1 under the ultra-fast versus baseline situation. Notably, the right hemisphere contained considerably great hemodynamic reactions compared with the left hemisphere. The results indicated are F (1, 12) = 10.430, p <.010). Nevertheless, other members portrayed a more consensual stimulation pattern as demonstrated in Figure 2.
The image illustrated above exhibits SPM random-effects cluster analysis. Once the acquired behavioral trials were computerized as covariates into an arithmetic analysis, a noteworthy relationship between the ability to comprehend ultra-fast statements and hemodynamic stimulation arose in the areas indicated by the image.
The graph above indicates a percentage signal variation under the ultra-fast and discreetly fast hearing settings plotted against personal social performance. Notably, owing to the ceiling effects the social data destined to fast statements have not been incorporated. In the image, the clusters of hemodynamic stimulation are used as a foundation for the purpose of ROIs. Concerning the group of blind subjects, every ROIs indicated a noteworthy affirmative tendency towards sturdier hemodynamic stimulation in the ultra-fast utterance setting.
Dietrich, Susanne, Ingo Hertrich, and Hermann Ackermann. “Ultra-Fast Speech Comprehension In Blind Subjects Engages Primary Visual Cortex, Fusiform Gyrus, And Pulvinar A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Fmri) Study”. BMC Neuroscience 14.74 (2013): 1-15. Print.
Eardley, Alison, and Linda Pring. “Spatial Processing, Mental Imagery, And Creativity In Individuals With And Without Sight”. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology 19.1 (2007): 37-58. Print.
Jaworska-Biskup, Katarzyna. “The World without Sight. A Comparative Study Of Concept Understanding In Polish Congenitally Totally Blind And Sighted Children’. Psychology of Language and Communication 15.1 (2011): 78-90. Print.
Li, Tianlu. “Fast Functional Brain Signal Changes Detected By Diffusion Weighted Fmri”. Magnetic Resonance Imaging 21.8 (2003): 829-833. Print.
Mast, Fred. Spatial Processing In Navigation, Imagery And Perception. New York: Springer, 2007. Print.
Smits, Marion. “A 3 T Event-Related Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) Study Of Primary And Secondary Gustatory Cortex Localization Using Natural Tastants”. Neuroradiology 49.1 (2006): 61-71. Print.