Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center

April 12, 2019

Ione Fine, PhD

Ione Fine, PhD


Additional Titles: Affiliate Professor
Radiology, Opthamology
Research Areas: Hearing
Research Interests: Alterations in auditory processing caused by visual impairment
fMRI, MRI, psychophysics
Work Summary:

My goal is to understand the mechanisms of plasticity in the human brain by linking changes in function to changes in neuroanatomical structure, with a particular focus on the effects of early sensory loss and prosthetic vision. My work can be roughly divided into four inter-related areas of research.

If humans become blind early in life, they only regain very limited ability to make use of that sense if it is ever restored in adulthood (Research Interest 1) and there is “cross-modal plasticity” – colonization of the brain regions that normally serve the missing sense by remaining senses (Research Interest 2). These huge changes in the functional role of deprived cortical areas are accompanied by dramatic changes in occipital neuroanatomy and neurochemistry (Research Interest 3). All these factors have implications for the ability to restore sight using retinal prosthetics (Research Interest 4).