Article

Genetics of language disorders: clinical conditions, phenotypes, and genes

Mabel L. Rice and Filip Smolík

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780198568971
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198568971.013.0042
 Genetics of language disorders: clinical conditions, phenotypes, and genes

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Persons who do not acquire language in the expected ways show variation that can be linked or associated with genetic variations. Just as in ancient times, there is great interest in young children's language abilities as a window onto inherited mechanisms. In the case of language impairments, there are multiple dimensions of possible phenotypes that intertwine language symptoms with more general cognitive and sensory symptoms. This article summarises current investigations of the FOXP2 gene, as a case study of the steps involved in relating language disorders and genes, and progresses toward the molecular level. It also brings in recent investigations of the genetics of reading and speech impairments, and possible overlap with language impairments; describes the outcomes of twin studies, and the ways that phenotype definitions interact with genetic interpretations; and looks at “the first psycholinguistic experiment,” reported by Herodotus and updated to the modern scientific context.

Keywords: FOXP2 gene; genetics; language disorders; language impairments; genetic variations; phenotypes; twin studies; psycholinguistic experiment; Herodotus; sensory symptoms

Article.  12002 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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