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  The emergence of long-range language network structural covariance and language abilities

Qi, T., Schaadt, G., Cafiero, R., Brauer, J., Skeide, M. A., & Friederici, A. D. (2019). The emergence of long-range language network structural covariance and language abilities. NeuroImage, 191, 36-48. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.02.014.

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Qi, Ting1, Author           
Schaadt, Gesa1, 2, Author           
Cafiero, Riccardo1, Author           
Brauer, Jens1, Author           
Skeide, Michael A.1, Author           
Friederici, Angela D.1, Author           
1Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              
2Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              


Free keywords: Language development; Syntax; Structural covariance; Cortical thickness; Five-year-olds; Diffusion-weighted imaging
 Abstract: Language skills increase as the brain matures. Language processing, especially the comprehension of syntactically complex sentences, is supported by a brain network involving functional interactions between left inferior frontal and left temporal regions in the adult brain, with reduced functional interactions in children. Here, we examined the gray matter covariance of the cortical thickness network relevant for syntactic processing in relation to language abilities in preschool children (i.e., 5-year-olds) and analyzed the developmental changes of the cortical thickness covariance cross-sectionally by comparing preschool children, school age children, and adults. Further, to demonstrate the agreement of cortical thickness covariance and white matter connectivity, tractography analyses were performed. Covariance of language-relevant seeds in preschoolers was strongest in contralateral homologous regions. A more adult-like, significant cortical thickness covariance between left frontal and left temporal regions, however, was observed in preschoolers with advanced syntactic language abilities. By comparing the three age groups, we could show that the cortical thickness covariance pattern from the language-associated seeds develops progressively from restricted in preschoolers to widely-distributed brain regions in adults. In addition, our results suggest that the cortical thickness covariance difference of the left inferior frontal gyrus to superior temporal gyrus/sulcus between preschoolers and adults is accompanied by distinctions in the white matter tracts linking these two areas, with more mature white matter in the arcuate fasciculus in adults compared to preschoolers. These findings provide anatomical evidence for developmental changes in language both from the perspective of gray matter structure co-variation within the language network and white matter maturity as the anatomical substrate for the structural covariance.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-01-282018-09-242019-02-052019-02-072019-05-01
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.02.014
PMID: 30738206
Other: Epub ahead of print
 Degree: -



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Project information

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Project name : Crossing the Borders: The Interplay of Language, Cognition, and the Brain in Early Human Development / FOR 2253
Grant ID : 519/20-1
Funding program : -
Funding organization : German Research Foundation (DFG)
Project name : -
Grant ID : M.FE.A.NEPF0001
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Max Planck Society and Fraunhofer Society
Project name : -
Grant ID : 201506040035
Funding program : -
Funding organization : China Scholarship Council

Source 1

Title: NeuroImage
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Orlando, FL : Academic Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 191 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 36 - 48 Identifier: ISSN: 1053-8119
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922650166