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Is Language Development in the Child’s Brain Visible on a Molecular Level?


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

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The ability to process complex syntax is a human characteristic. The development of language comprehension and articulation takes place over a certain period of time during childhood. What happens in the brain on a neural biological level during language acquisition is still unclear. The research explained in this video uses methods that detect and monitor brain activity to determine changes and patterns on the scale of milliseconds. This allows to see maturation and to follow connections between different brain areas, helping our understanding of where language develops. ANGELA D. FRIEDERICI illustrates that she and her fellow researchers found a particular fiber track which connects two regions of the brain and is responsible for syntax comprehension. While most animals do not have this fiber track or only a less developed one, the question of language representation can also be expanded as an example of learning processes in the brain in general. The research proves that brain development determines what is possible in terms of learning at the defined moment in life.