Comprehensive Language in Brain Anatomy of Children
New research on the brain anatomy of young children gives us details that let us advance in comprehending just how long it takes to retain languages.
Researchers noticed that the acquiring of language which relatively starts at age 2, 3 and 4 is not based on the changes of brain asymmetry. Instead they found that the imbalance of myelin, the material that helps transport electrical signals to the brain, was evident at the early age of 1.
According to the study, "that finding, the researchers say, underscores the importance of environment during this critical period for language."
For the research, the brains of 108 children between ages 1 and 6 were imaged, keeping an eye out for myelin growth to better see which areas of the brain were known to support language.
"While asymmetry in myelin remained constant over time, the relationship between specific asymmetries and language ability did change, the study found," said Brown School of Engineering. "To investigate that relationship, the researchers compared the brain scans to a battery of language tests given to each child in the study. The comparison showed that asymmetries in different parts of the brain appear to predict language ability at different ages."
According to Brown, the study presents that as languages become more difficult as they progress it appears that children use different areas of the brain as a means to learn them.
"We found that between the ages of 2 and 4, myelin asymmetry doesn't predict language very well," said lead author, Jonathan O'Muircheartaigh, the Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow at King's College London. "So if it's not a child's brain anatomy predicting their language skills, it suggests their environment might be more influential."
Future research seems to be getting clearer for researchers. Their agenda reinforces their interest in figuring out future occurrences of developmental disorders in the brain before they flourish.
"Disorders like autism, dyslexia, and ADHD all have specific deficits in language ability," O'Muircheartaigh said. "Before we do studies looking at abnormalities we need to know how typical children develop. That's what this study is about."
The findings are published in the Journal of Neuroscience