Stephane Simon1,2, Franois Lazeyras3, Alain-Dominique Sigrist4, Marc Ecoffey5, Stefano Guatieri4, Dimitri Van De Ville6, Cristina Borradori Tolsa5, Marco Pelizzone4, Petra Hppi5
1Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; 2Work supported in part by the Center for Biomedical Imaging CIBM, Lausanne & Geneva, Switzerland; 3Dpt of Radiology, University of Geneva and University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland; 4Romand Center for Cochlear Implants, University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland; 5Division of Child Growth & Development, University of Geneva and University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland; 6BioMedical Imaging Group, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland
This study reports the first comparison of brain functional development in premature infants at term age and term born newborns, upon auditory stimulation. Functional MRI revealed striking differences in the emergence of several bilateral temporal regions related to the processing of voice perception in the newborn, with specific differences between premature and term born infants. Since the present findings were collected at the same post-conceptional age (normal birth age), they highlight the important contribution of experience in voice recognition and possibly in language acquisition, therefore reopening the debate about the respective contributions of innate and experience shaped brain development.