Document Detail

Language or music, mother or Mozart? Structural and environmental influences on infants' language networks.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19864015     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Understanding how language emerged in our species calls for a detailed investigation of the initial specialization of the human brain for speech processing. Our earlier research demonstrated that an adult-like left-lateralized network of perisylvian areas is already active when infants listen to sentences in their native language, but did not address the issue of the specialization of this network for speech processing. Here we used fMRI to study the organization of brain activity in two-month-old infants when listening to speech or to music. We also explored how infants react to their mother's voice relative to an unknown voice. The results indicate that the well-known structural asymmetry already present in the infants' posterior temporal areas has a functional counterpart: there is a left-hemisphere advantage for speech relative to music at the level of the planum temporale. The posterior temporal regions are thus differently sensitive to the auditory environment very early on, channelling speech inputs preferentially to the left side. Furthermore, when listening to the mother's voice, activation was modulated in several areas, including areas involved in emotional processing (amygdala, orbito-frontal cortex), but also, crucially, a large extent of the left posterior temporal lobe, suggesting that the mother's voice plays a special role in the early shaping of posterior language areas. Both results underscore the joint contributions of genetic constraints and environmental inputs in the fast emergence of an efficient cortical network for language processing in humans.
G Dehaene-Lambertz; A Montavont; A Jobert; L Allirol; J Dubois; L Hertz-Pannier; S Dehaene
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2009-10-27
Journal Detail:
Title:  Brain and language     Volume:  114     ISSN:  1090-2155     ISO Abbreviation:  Brain Lang     Publication Date:  2010 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-07-26     Completed Date:  2010-11-04     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7506220     Medline TA:  Brain Lang     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  53-65     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
INSERM, U, CEA/SAC/DSV/I2BM Neurospin, Gif/Yvette, France.
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MeSH Terms
Acoustic Stimulation / methods
Amygdala / growth & development,  physiology
Auditory Cortex / growth & development,  physiology*
Auditory Pathways / growth & development,  physiology
Frontal Lobe / growth & development,  physiology
Language Development*
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Speech Perception / physiology*
Temporal Lobe / growth & development,  physiology*

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