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Genetic Basis of Language Development and Impairment

  • By: Sergey A. Kornilov, Natalia Rakhlin & Elena L. Grigorenko
  • In: Encyclopedia of Language Development
  • Edited by: Patricia J. Brooks & Vera Kempe
  • Subject:Language Development, Language & Communication

Language development heavily relies on the maturation and organization of brain systems. This complex process is accompanied by an ensemble of neural events that happen both pre- and postnatally and continue through early childhood. Whether such systems represent isolated, modular language centers specific to the human species is a subject of debate; however, it is now widely accepted that, at the level of ontogeny, these systems and the accompanying processes have a strong genetic component. The examination of the genetic basis of language development and impairment heavily draws upon two types of variation observed in language ability. First, despite the high degree of uniformity in the course of major developmental milestones for most children and a certain uniform level of competence in their native ...

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