Neurodevelopmental communication disorders: how lateralisation of speech in the brain works

An image to illustrate neurodevelopmental communication disorders and how lateralisation of speech in the brain works
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A breakthrough has been made in understanding the lateralisation of speech in the brain, and how this affects neurodevelopmental communication disorders.

The study on how lateralisation of speech in brain circuits affects neurodevelopmental communication disorders has been published in Nature Communications.

The lateralisation of speech in the brain

Lateralisation is the specialisation of brain functions, attributed to the left and right hemisphere of the brain. The lead of the study and biologist Hysell V. Oviedo of the City College of New York Division of Science added:”The lateralisation of language processing in the auditory cortical areas of the brain has been known for more than 150 years, but the function, neural mechanisms, and development of this hemispheric specialisation is still unknown.”

“This division of labour between the left and right auditory cortices in processing social communication is not unique to humans but is widespread in many species including mice. Using the mouse as an animal model, our study is the first to show that there are significant differences in the wiring diagram of the language centers in the brain that could underlie their distinct speech processing capabilities.”

Neurodevelopmental communication disorders

It was noted by the researchers that communication deficits are the most common disabilities in children. Oviedo commented: “Although the causes of communication deficits vary, the underlying pathological mechanism routinely involves miswiring of the connections between neurons in the language centres of the brain.”

The applications of the discovery

Oviedo concluded: “Our discovery of the wiring diagram relevant to communicative functions provides the opportunity to use the mouse as a model to study the molecular phenotypes that shape the development of vocalisation processing and how it goes awry in neurodevelopmental communication disorders.”

Other research team members included: Robert B. Levy, Tiemo Marquarding, Ashlan P. Reid; Christopher M. Pun (Macaulay Honors College at CCNY); and Nicolas Renier (Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière, Paris, France).

Source: City College of New York

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