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Shedding Light On The Human Auditory Cortex: A Review Of The Advances In Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS)

Authors Harrison SC, Hartley DEH

Received 14 May 2019

Accepted for publication 9 September 2019

Published 2 October 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 31—42

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RMI.S174633

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Tarik Massoud


Samantha C Harrison,1,2 Douglas EH Hartley1–3

1NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, Nottingham, UK; 2Hearing Sciences Group, Division of Clinical Neuroscience, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK; 3Department of Otolaryngology, Nottingham University Hospitals National Health Service Trust, Nottingham, UK

Correspondence: Samantha C Harrison
NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Ropewalk House, 113 The Ropewalk, Nottingham NG1 5DU, UK
Tel +441158 232640
Email Samantha.Harrison@nottingham.ac.uk  

Abstract: Imaging the auditory cortex can prove challenging using neuroimaging methodologies due to interfering noise from the scanner in fMRI and the low spatial resolution of EEG. Optical imaging provides a new and exciting option for exploring this key cortical area. This review presents a brief history of optical imaging, followed by an exploration of how advances in optical imaging technologies have increased the understanding of the functions and processes within the auditory cortex. In particular, the benefits and limitations of using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) on complex populations such as infants and individuals with hearing loss are explored, along with suggestions for future research developments.

Keywords: optical imaging, hearing loss, superior temporal gyrus, plasticity, auditory processing

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