Auditory re-afferentation by cochlear implants (CI) offers a unique opportunity to study directly from within the auditory modality plastic changes taking place at organisational levels up to the supra- or polymodal level. These plastic changes resulting from deafness and chronic electrical stimulation can be studied using modern neuroimaging techniques. In this paper, we review the available techniques and the experimental approaches to human studies of plasticity, we discuss the different forms of plasticity that are associated with cochlear implantation and we point to the interest of imaging studies for providing a prognosis of functional outcome after implantation.

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