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Prior studies investigating cortical processing in Deaf signers suggest that life-long experience with sign language and/or auditory deprivation may alter the brain’s anatomical structure and the function of brain regions typically recruited for auditory processing (Emmorey et al., 2010; Pénicaud, et al., 2012 inter alia). We report the first investigation of the task-negative network in Deaf signers and its functional connectivity – the temporal correlations among spatially remote neurophysiological events. We show that Deaf signers manifest increased functional connectivity between posterior cingulate/precuneus and left medial temporal gyrus (MTG), but also inferior parietal lobe and medial temporal gyrus in the right hemisphere- areas that have been found to show functional recruitment specifically during sign language processing. These findings suggest that the organization of the brain at the level of inter-network connectivity is likely affected by experience with processing visual language, although sensory deprivation could be another source of the difference. We hypothesize that connectivity alterations in the task negative network reflect predictive/automatized processing of the visual signal.
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