Maturation of the Language Network: From Inter- to Intrahemispheric Connectivities

Language development must go hand-in-hand with brain maturation. Little is known about how the brain develops to serve language processing, in particular, the processing of complex syntax, a capacity unique to humans. Behavioral reports indicate that the ability to process complex syntax is not yet adult-like by the age of seven years. Here, we apply a novel method to demonstrate that the basic neural basis of language, as revealed by low frequency fluctuation stemming from functional MRI data, differs between six-year-old children and adults in crucial aspects. Although the classical language regions are actively in place by the age of six, the functional connectivity between these regions clearly is not. In contrast to adults who show strong connectivities between frontal and temporal language regions within the left hemisphere, children’s default language network is characterized by a strong functional interhemispheric connectivity, mainly between the superior temporal regions. These data indicate a functional reorganization of the neural network underlying language development towards a system that allows a close interplay between frontal and temporal regions within the left hemisphere.

from PLoS ONE

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Housed at the internationally renowned Callier Center for Communication Disorders, Callier Library a branch facility of the McDermott Library at The University of Texas at Dallas.

Posted on June 15, 2011, in Research. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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