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Decoding the genetics of speech and language

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons4427

Fisher,  Simon E.
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, External Organizations;
Language and Genetics Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Fisher, S. E. (2013). Decoding the genetics of speech and language. Talk presented at the 20th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS2013). San Francisco, CA. 2013-04-13 - 2013-04-16.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-FD71-5
Abstract
Researchers are beginning to uncover the neurogenetic pathways that contribute to our unparalleled capacity for spoken language. Initial clues come from identifi- cation of genetic risk factors implicated in developmental language disorders. The underlying genetic architecture is complex, involving a range of molecular mechanisms. For example, we have shown that rare protein-coding mutations of the FOXP2 transcription factor cause severe problems with sequencing of speech sounds, while common genetic risk variants of small effect size in genes like CNTNAP2, ATP2C2 and CMIP are associated with typical forms of language impairment. In my talk I will describe how investigations of genes like FOXP2, in humans, animals and cellular models, can unravel the complicated connections between genes and language. This depends on interdisciplinary research at multiple levels, from determining molecular interactions and functional roles in neural cell-biology all the way through to effects on brain structure and activity.