Vincent J. Schmithorst1, 2, Scott Holland2, Elena Plante3
1Radiology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA, United States; 2Radiology, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, United States; 3Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, University of Arizona - Tucson, Tucson, AZ, United States
Little is currently known about how subtle sensory deficits may affect the development of higher-order cognitive processing. Children with unilateral hearing loss (UHL) exhibit deficits in sound localization, as the additional information from binaural input is unavailable. We investigated the neural correlates of audio-visual association in children with UHL as compared with normal-hearing controls. While minimal differences in activation patterns were seen, children with UHL displayed reduced deactivation in anterior and posterior default-mode network (DMN) regions. This neurobiological deficit, also seen in ADHD and math disability, may underlie the academic and behavioral deficits seen in children with UHL.