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The ontogeny of the cortical language network

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Skeide,  Michael A.
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Friederici,  Angela D.
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Skeide, M. A., & Friederici, A. D. (2016). The ontogeny of the cortical language network. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 17, 323-332. doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.23.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002A-07FA-8
Abstract
Language-processing functions follow heterogeneous developmental trajectories. The human embryo can already distinguish vowels in utero, but grammatical complexity is usually not fully mastered until at least 7 years of age. Examining the current literature, we propose that the ontogeny of the cortical language network can be roughly subdivided into two main developmental stages. In the first stage extending over the first 3 years of life, the infant rapidly acquires bottom-up processing capacities, which are primarily implemented bilaterally in the temporal cortices. In the second stage continuing into adolescence, top-down processes emerge gradually with the increasing functional selectivity and structural connectivity of the left inferior frontal cortex.