There are many individuals living in the world who have not had the ability to hear any kind of sound in the world
There are many individuals living in the world who have not had the ability to hear any kind of sound in the world. In some circumstances, since technology has impacted much life, with the help of it, the inability of hearing can now be overcome. And those who have never been able to receive sounds in their auditory cortex can now be able. Nowadays, there are many different ways for a person who suffers from hearing loss gain hearing for the first time in their life. One common procedure performs on the individual with hearing loss is the cochlear implant. It involves going through surgery so that people who receive them can have the ability to hear sounds around them ( Fallon, Irvine & Shepherd, 2003). This procedure has gain popularity because of its high success rate and how it can transform people life. Although cochlear implants can aid in the hearing there are many factors that may prevent that from happening. This paper will focus on how plasticity can help in the reorganizing of the auditory system to determines the degree of sounds a person can hear through cochlear implants.
Cochlear implants are hearing aid devices that are placed in the inner ear of individuals who are deaf to help them regain loss hearing ( Fallon, Irvine & Shepherd, 2003). This cochlea is the part of the inner ear that takes in sound vibrations and connect them to electrical signals. And when it reaches the brain, it interprets it as sounds ( Krala & Eggermont, 2007). For example, sounds like verbal communication. In most individuals who are profoundly deaf, cochlear just isn’t doing the job. Therefore, getting a cochlear implant will help mimics the natural pattern of activities that represent the changing sounds by electrical impulses or signals (Krala ; Eggermont, 2007). But sometimes they may not do that very well since cochlear implants are simple crowd machine compared to an intact inner ear ( Gordon, Papsin ; Harrison, 2003). So hearing through a cochlear implant for the first time, patients may found those sounds strange like just a bunch of noise. As time goes on, their feelings can change dramatically and that speech now sounds more natural than before and they understand it. According to Kral and Sharma, they found that the device never changes during those times but the brain somewhat did change (2013). It gradually reorganized itself through many changes of wiring to create new neurological construction of the sounds of speech (Kral ; Sharma, 2013). The cochlear implant got the process going but the brain does the majority of the work.
Neural plasticity is referred to as the brain capability to reorganize neural pathways, as a result, to change and adapt because of experience (Kral ; Sharma, 2013). Plasticity is age-related and critical period plays an important role therefore age does dependent on the degree of cochlear damage . In Kral and Sharma research, plasticity relates to morphophysiology which is the study of anatomy in its relation to function. The auditory system along with other body senses have the inherent ability to adapt to change and this is done through functional recovery. Functional recovery is the transfer of functions from damage area of the brain after trauma to undamaged areas ( Gordon, Papsin ; Harrison, 2003). It can only take place through neuronal unmasking. In this case, dormant synapses which have not received enough input to be active open connections to compensate for a nearby damage area of the brain ( Gordon, Papsin ; Harrison, 2003). What this does is that it allows new connection in the brain become activated and therefore recovers any damage occurring in a specific region. For individuals who were born deaf or lose their hearing during the critical periods means that neuron that was supposed to aid in hearing had already died off during synaptic pruning ( Michael, Dorman ; Spahr, 2002). So when people first get a cochlear implant they say speech sounds weird because those neurons are not there to recognize the sounds ( Gordon, Papsin ; Harrison, 2003).
Auditory system reorganization after damage occurs over longer time. According to Michael, Dorman and Spahr, modification of central tonotopic mapping as a result of the cochlear lesion (2002). Tonotopic or sometimes called cochleotopic is believed to be the mainline organizational feature of the auditory system ( Gordon, Papsin ; Harrison, 2003). This is because it determines the coding sound frequencies along the cochlear length. So the more inputs of sounds through the implant, the more the individual become familiar with the pitch.
So when cochlear is implanted,