| Andrej Kral|
| Germany, Slovak republic|
Hannover Medical School, Institute of AudioNeuroTechnology
Hannover Medical School
Andrej Kral Wikipedia
Andrej Kral (born 1969) is a German / Slovak neuroscientist and scientific director of the Joint Institute of AudioNeuroTechnology at the Hannover Medical School. He is one of the pioneers of research on brain plasticity, development and critical (sensitive) periods of the deaf auditory system. He postulated the theory that following deafness in early childhood, the connections between auditory areas in the cerebral cortex, as well as the connections between auditory system and other brain parts become functionally weaker ('decoupling theory'). Plasticity following single-sided deafness and prosthetic therapy of hearing disorders is a further focus of his work.
Andrej Kral was born in Bratislava, Slovakia. After studies of human medicine at the Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia (MD 1993 PhD 1998) he joined the Institute of Pathophysiology at the School of Medicine, Comenius University. In 1995 he received a DAAD scholarship and moved to Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to work on neurophysiology of cochlear implants and deafness in the labs of Prof. Rainer Klinke, School of Medicine, J.W.Goethe University. An appointment to Associate Professor of Physiology at the Goethe University in Frankfurt followed in 2002, and in 2004 he moved to the University of Hamburg, becoming Professor of Neurophysiology at the University Clinics Hamburg-Eppendorf. There, he was deputy director of the Institute of Neurophysiology. In the same year he has also been appointed Adjunct Professor of Cognition and Neuroscience at The University of Texas at Dallas, USA. Since 2009 A. Kral has been chair and Professor of Auditory Neuroscience, director of Dept. of Experimental Otology, scientific director of the ENT Clinics and head of the Institute of AudioNeuroTechnology, Medical University Hannover. The institute investigates technological and neuroscientific aspects of neuroprosthetic devices with main focus on auditory prostheses.
Kral's group published studies on developmental effects of deafness on the systems level and first studies that described neural correlates of sensitive periods in development and plasticity of the deaf auditory system. The work demonstrated a developmental delay in deafness and described cortical maturation with early hearing experience using cochlear implants. This work supported early cochlear implantation in children and emphasized the need for a neonatal hearing screening, now standard in many countries. Early implantation in congenitally deaf children, particularly the shift toward younger implantation ages, has been proved exceptionally successful. The results have correlates in human electrophysiological studies (by Prof. A. Sharma and Prof. J.J.Eggermont). Effects of single-sided and binaural deafness on cortical properties have shown the extensive reorganization of the brain under this condition. Further, fundamental studies on cross-modal reorganization following deafness were performed in collaboration with Drs. S.G.Lomber (University of Western Ontario, Canada), P. Barone (CERCO & University of Paul Sabatier, France) and A.K.Engel (that time Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt am Main).
Kral‘s lab further concentrates on functional and anatomical aspects of prosthetic therapy in hearing, variations in microanatomy of the human cochlea, reactions of cochlear tissue to prosthetic devices and different aspects of hearing loss.
Andrej Kral has been responsible for the curriculum of medical physiology, neurophysiology and auditory neuroscience at several universities. Currently, he chairs the PhD Programm Auditory Sciences at the Medical University Hannover.
Dr. Kral received funding from many prestigious funding agencies, including the Cluster of Excellence Hearing4all (German Science Society, DFG). In 2017 he was appointed member of the German National Academy of Science (Leopoldina).Kral, A et al. (2013) Kral, A; Hubka, P; Heid, S; Tillein, J (January 2013). "Single-sided deafness leads to unilateral aural preference within an early sensitive period". Brain. 136: 180–93. PMID 23233722. doi:10.1093/brain/aws305.
Kral A, Sharma A (2012) Kral, A; Sharma, A (February 2012). "Developmental neuroplasticity after cochlear implantation". Trends Neurosci. 35: 111–22. PMC 3561718 . PMID 22104561. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2011.09.004.
Kral A, O‘Donoghue G (2010) Kral, A; O'Donoghue, GM (October 2010). "Profound Deafness in Childhood". New England J Med. 363: 1438–1450. PMID 20925546. doi:10.1056/NEJMra0911225.
Lomber et al. (2010) "Cross-modal plasticity in specific auditory cortices underlies visual compensations in the deaf.". Nat Neurosci. 13: 1421–7. Nov 2010. PMID 20935644. doi:10.1038/nn.2653.
Kral et al. (2009) Kral, A; Tillein, J; Hubka, P; Schiemann, D; Heid, S; Hartmann, R; Engel, AK. "Spatiotemporal patterns of cortical activity with bilateral cochlear implants in congenital deafness". J Neurosci. 29: 811–27. PMID 19158306. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2424-08.2009.
Kral et al. (2006) Kral, A; Tillein, J; Heid, S; Klinke, R; Hartmann, R. "Cochlear implants: cortical plasticity in congenital deprivation". Prog Brain Res. 157: 283–313. PMID 17167917.
Kral et al. (2005) Kral, A; Tillein, J; Heid, S; Hartmann, R; Klinke, R. "Postnatal cortical development in congenital auditory deprivation". Cereb Cortex. 15: 552–62. PMID 15319310. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhh156.
Kral et al. (2002) "Cereb Cortex".
Klinke et al. (1999) Klinke, R; Kral, A; Heid, S; Tillein, J; Hartmann, R (September 1999). "Recruitment of the auditory cortex in congenitally deaf cats by long-term cochlear electrostimulation". Science. 285: 1729–33. PMID 10481008. doi:10.1126/science.285.5434.1729.
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