We examined cortical activation by speech in patients with moderate inner ear hearing loss using PET to investigate the response of the language network to insufficient speech input. We made two word lists, well-perceived words and poorly-perceived words, and measured rCBF during monaural presentation of these words. Well-perceived words activated bilateral temporal lobes, bilateral inferior frontal gyri (IFG) and left angular gyrus (AG) regardless of the ear stimulated, Poorly-perceived words activated contralateral temporal lobe and bilateral IFG, while little or no activation was observed in the ipsilateral temporal lobe and left AG. Insufficient activation of the temporal lobe ipsilateral to the ear stimulated might correlated with less accurate word comprehension in patients with inner ear hearing loss.
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