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Research Proposal
Speech understanding
Inferior colliculus lesions
Brainstem aphasia?

fMRI of the inferior colliculi
Testing strategies
Anticipated results

Working hypotheses
Language areas on fMRI
Effects of asphyxia at birth
Maturation of the brain
Time-table of myelination
Learning to speak "by ear"
Metabolism in the brain
Protective mechanisms
Catastrophic factors
Brainstem damage
Brainstem aphasia?
Gilles (1963), citing the experiments with monkeys on
asphyxia at birth, and his own observations suggested:
“…certain congenital brain stem nuclear
‘aphasias,’ for example, Moebius syndrome, may
be related to temporary prenatal or perinatal
cardiac failure” [40, p318]
Note: This comment appeared in an abstract of a
presentation given at the 38th Annual Meeting of the
American Association of Neuropathologists, June 16, 1962.
Floyd H Gilles, M.D.
Neurologist, Children’s
Hospital Los Angeles
The purpose of the research proposed here is
to use functional MRI (fMRI)  to investigate:
The hypothesis put forward by Gilles (1963) that
impairment of function in the inferior colliculi might
underlie some developmental language disorders, or
Whether some developmental language disorders
occur in the absence of any measurable impairment
of auditory function.
October 2006
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Working version
Monkeys subjected to asphyxia did not develop cerebral palsy.
The brainstem damage found was dismissed as minimal, thus perhaps the
perception that infants can tolerate asphyxia at birth without serious harm.
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