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Cross-Modal Plasticity (with Johanna Jaansoo)

In this episode, we were joined by special guest and fellow young neuroscientist, Johanna Jaansoo, to discuss cross-modal plasticity. We covered what cross-modal plasticity is, what it tells us about the links between the development of sensory systems in the brain and higher-order cognition, and how it can inform future therapies for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders.


What is cross-modal plasticity?


Cross-modal plasticity: where and how?. Bavelier, D., & Neville, H. J. (2002). Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 3(6), 443–452. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn848


How is cross-modal plasticity implicated in sensory deficit disorders?


Cross-modal plasticity for the spatial processing of sounds in visually deprived subjects. Collignon, O., Voss, P., Lassonde, M., & Lepore, F. (2009). Experimental brain research, 192(3), 343–358. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-008-1553-z


Visual stimuli activate auditory cortex in the deaf. Finney, E., Fine, I. & Dobkins, K. Nat Neurosci 4, 1171–1173 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn763


How does the timing of sensory deficits influence the capacity for plasticity?


Sensitive and critical periods in visual sensory deprivation. Patrice Voss (2013). https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00664/full


How is the development of sensory systems in the brain linked to cognitive development?


Jorquera-Cabrera, S., Romero-Ayuso, D., Rodriguez-Gil, G., & Triviño-Juárez, J. M. (2017). Assessment of Sensory Processing Characteristics in Children between 3 and 11 Years Old: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in pediatrics, 5, 57. https://doi.org/10.3389/fped.2017.00057


Humes, L. E., & Young, L. A. (2016). Sensory-Cognitive Interactions in Older Adults. Ear and hearing, 37 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), 52S–61S. https://doi.org/10.1097/AUD.0000000000000303


Pressnitzer, D., Sayles, M., Micheyl, C., & Winter, I. M. (2008). Perceptual organization of sound begins in the auditory periphery. Current biology : CB, 18(15), 1124–1128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2008.06.053


How is multisensory integration linked to neurological disorders?


Stevenson, R. A., Zemtsov, R. K., & Wallace, M.T. (2012). Individual differences in the multisensory temporal binding window predict susceptibility to audiovisual illusions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 28(6): 1517-1529.


Stevenson, R. A., Segers, M., Ferber, S., Barense, M.D., & Wallace, M.T. (2014). The impact of multisensory integration deficits on speech perception in children with autism spectrum disorders. Frontiers in Psychology, 5(379), 1-4.


Stevenson, R. A., Siemann, J. K., Woynaroski, T. G., Schneider, B. C., Eberly, H. E., Camarata, S. M., & Wallace, M. T. (2014). Multisensory temporal integration in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Neuroscience, 34(3), 691-697.


How can knowledge about sensory cross-modal plasticity be harnessed in developing therapies for neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegeneration in old age?


Sensory integration therapy for children with autism:


Sensory loss and cognitive decline in elderly:


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