The Structural Connectivity Underpinning Language Aptitude, Working Memory, and IQ in the Perisylvian Language Network
Number of pages
SourceLanguage Learning, 62, (2012), pp. 110-130
Article / Letter to editor
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Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
Donders Centre for Neuroscience
PI Group Statistical Imaging Neuroscience
PI Group MR Techniques in Brain Function
PI Group Neurobiology of Language
F.C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
Subject110 000 Neurocognition of Language; 110 007 PLUS: A neurocomputational model for the Processing of Linguistic Utterances based on the Unification-Space architecture; 110 009 The human brain and Chinese prosody; 110 012 Social cognition of verbal communication; 110 013 Binding and the MUC-model; 110 014 Public activities; 120 000 Neuronal Coherence; 120 013 Primate Research Maastricht; 150 000 MR Techniques in Brain Function; Research Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging; Onderzoek Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
In this article, we report the results of a study on the relationship between individual differences in language learning aptitude and the structural connectivity of language pathways in the adult brain, the first of its kind. We measured four components of language aptitude (vocabulary learning; sound recognition; sound-symbol correspondence; and grammatical inferencing) using the LLAMA language aptitude test. Spatial working memory, verbal working memory and IQ were also measured as control factors. Diffusion Tensor Imaging was employed to investigate the structural connectivity of language pathways in the perisylvian language network. Regression analysis suggested significant correlations between most of these behavioural measures and the structural connectivity of certain language pathways, that is, grammatical inferencing and the BA45- and BA46-Temporal pathway, sound-symbol correspondence and the interhemispheric BA45 pathway, vocabulary learning and the BA47-Parietal pathway, IQ and the BA44- and BA-47Parietal pathways, the BA47-Temporal pathway and interhemispheric BA45 pathway, spatial working memory and the interhemispheric BA6 pathway and the BA47-Parietal pathway, and verbal working memory and the BA47-Temporal pathway. These findings provide further insights into the neural underpinnings of the variation in language aptitude of human adults and are discussed in relation to relevant findings in the literature.
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