Intégration sensorielle et plasticité cérébrale de l'audition chez l'humain

 

Alexandre Lehmann

Centre for Research on Brain, Language and Music (CRBLM)

 

Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 1

Concours 2016-2017

Hearing loss is a major chronic incapacity affecting over three million Canadians, with about ten percent being profoundly deaf. Profound hearing loss is the disability with the most negative repercussions on ones socio-economic status, and further leads to developmental issues in children, and to cognitive decline in the older adult. Cochlear implantation has permitted medicine to, for the first time, replace a sense that was lost. It consists in surgically implanting a medical device that artificially stimulates the auditory nervous system has been performed on patients aged 3 month to 99 years. Unfortunately, recovery of sensory and cognitive function is currently limited, severely impacting implantees' daily–life functioning.  

Understanding the factors promoting or impeding successful outcomes in cochlear implantation is a major challenge for health research and a critical step towards addressing current limitations. Addressing this challenge, is hindered by a poor understanding of the brain mechanisms underlying theses deficits in implant users. This research program, lying at the crossroad of basic and applied science, aims at investigating brain mechanisms underlying sensory processing and related deficits in cochlear implant users. This will allow us to model the factors affecting post-implantation outcomes.

This ambitious research program is feasible because the required technical and scientific expertise has been gathered, together with cutting-edge neuroimaging infrastructure. A better understanding of the brain mechanisms associated with impairments will allow to identify factors promoting or impeding successful outcomes in cochlear implantation. This in turn will inform therapeutic intervention and contribute to a personalized healthcare to persons of all ages suffering negative consequences on their health, quality of life and socio-professional/educational integration.