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Maturation of the language network: from inter- to intrahemispheric connectivities.

Friederici AD, Brauer J, Lohmann G - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: 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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neuropsychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany. angelafr@cbs.mpg.de

ABSTRACT
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.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Correlational maps for each age group for seed 1 in left BA 44.Group average correlational maps (r-values, thresholded at 0.45) for adults (first row) and for children (second row). The third row displays the statistical difference (z-values) between adults (red) and children (blue). Colored regions indicate a statistically significant difference between the groups (p<0.05, corrected). Left column: coronal view; middle column: sagittal view; right column: axial view.
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pone-0020726-g002: Correlational maps for each age group for seed 1 in left BA 44.Group average correlational maps (r-values, thresholded at 0.45) for adults (first row) and for children (second row). The third row displays the statistical difference (z-values) between adults (red) and children (blue). Colored regions indicate a statistically significant difference between the groups (p<0.05, corrected). Left column: coronal view; middle column: sagittal view; right column: axial view.

Mentions: When seeded in left BA 44, strong correlations were obtained with the left posterior temporal cortex in adults whereas in children, no such ipsilateral correlation was observed. Figure 2 shows group averages of correlation maps generated using the seed voxel in BA 44. For all figures, the inverse of the Fisher r-to-z transform was applied to the averages so that the maps show correlation values and not their transforms. The lower row in Figure 2 displays the result of the t-test comparing the two age groups directly. This contrast reveals that instead of an ipsilateral correlation with the temporal cortex, children show stronger correlations of BA 44 with the contalateral inferior frontal region (see also Table 1).


Maturation of the language network: from inter- to intrahemispheric connectivities.

Friederici AD, Brauer J, Lohmann G - PLoS ONE (2011)

Correlational maps for each age group for seed 1 in left BA 44.Group average correlational maps (r-values, thresholded at 0.45) for adults (first row) and for children (second row). The third row displays the statistical difference (z-values) between adults (red) and children (blue). Colored regions indicate a statistically significant difference between the groups (p<0.05, corrected). Left column: coronal view; middle column: sagittal view; right column: axial view.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3113799&req=5

pone-0020726-g002: Correlational maps for each age group for seed 1 in left BA 44.Group average correlational maps (r-values, thresholded at 0.45) for adults (first row) and for children (second row). The third row displays the statistical difference (z-values) between adults (red) and children (blue). Colored regions indicate a statistically significant difference between the groups (p<0.05, corrected). Left column: coronal view; middle column: sagittal view; right column: axial view.
Mentions: When seeded in left BA 44, strong correlations were obtained with the left posterior temporal cortex in adults whereas in children, no such ipsilateral correlation was observed. Figure 2 shows group averages of correlation maps generated using the seed voxel in BA 44. For all figures, the inverse of the Fisher r-to-z transform was applied to the averages so that the maps show correlation values and not their transforms. The lower row in Figure 2 displays the result of the t-test comparing the two age groups directly. This contrast reveals that instead of an ipsilateral correlation with the temporal cortex, children show stronger correlations of BA 44 with the contalateral inferior frontal region (see also Table 1).

Bottom Line: 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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neuropsychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany. angelafr@cbs.mpg.de

ABSTRACT
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.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus