Abnormal functional lateralization and activity of language brain areas in typical specific language impairment (developmental dysphasia)

Abstract : Atypical functional lateralization and specialization for language have been proposed to account for developmental language disorders, yet results from functional neuroimaging studies are sparse and inconsistent. This functional magnetic resonance imaging study compared children with a specific subtype of specific language impairment affecting structural language (n = 21), to a matched group of typically developing children using a panel of four language tasks neither requiring reading nor metalinguistic skills, including two auditory lexico-semantic tasks (category fluency and responsive naming) and two visual phonological tasks based on picture naming. Data processing involved normalizing the data with respect to a matched pairs paediatric template, groups and between-groups analysis, and laterality indices assessment within regions of interest using single and combined task analysis. Children with specific language impairment exhibited a significant lack of left lateralization in all core language regions (inferior frontal gyrus-opercularis, inferior frontal gyrus-triangularis, supramarginal gyrus and superior temporal gyrus), across single or combined task analysis, but no difference of lateralization for the rest of the brain. Between-group comparisons revealed a left hypoactivation of Wernicke's area at the posterior superior temporal/supramarginal junction during the responsive naming task, and a right hyperactivation encompassing the anterior insula with adjacent inferior frontal gyrus and the head of the caudate nucleus during the first phonological task. This study thus provides evidence that this subtype of specific language impairment is associated with atypical lateralization and functioning of core language areas.
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2011 Abnormal functional later...
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Clément de Guibert, Camille Maumet, Pierre Jannin, Jean-Christophe Ferré, Catherine Tréguier, et al.. Abnormal functional lateralization and activity of language brain areas in typical specific language impairment (developmental dysphasia). Brain - A Journal of Neurology , Oxford University Press (OUP), 2011, 134 (Pt 10), pp.3044-58. ⟨10.1093/brain/awr141⟩. ⟨inserm-00607180⟩

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