Genetics and language

A neurobiological perspective on the missing link (-ing hypotheses)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The paper argues that both evolutionary and genetic approaches to studying the biological foundations of speech and language could benefit from fractionating the problem at a finer grain, aiming not to map genetics to "language"-or even subdomains of language such as "phonology" or "syntax"-but rather to link genetic results to component formal operations that underlie processing the comprehension and production of linguistic representations. Neuroanatomic and neurophysiological research suggests that language processing is broken down in space (distributed functional anatomy along concurrent pathways) and time (concurrent processing on multiple time scales). These parallel neuronal pathways and their local circuits form the infrastructure of speech and language and are the actual targets of evolution/genetics. Therefore, investigating the mapping from gene to brain circuit to linguistic phenotype at the level of generic computational operations (subroutines actually executable in these circuits) stands to provide a new perspective on the biological foundations in the healthy and challenged brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-387
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Fingerprint

Language
Linguistics
Molecular Evolution
Chromosome Mapping
Brain
Anatomy
Phenotype
Research

Keywords

  • Evolution
  • Functional anatomy
  • Linguistics
  • Neural circuit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Genetics and language : A neurobiological perspective on the missing link (-ing hypotheses). / Poeppel, David.

In: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Vol. 3, No. 4, 12.2011, p. 381-387.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{bb026a129db54e28b20f54aa701888e9,
title = "Genetics and language: A neurobiological perspective on the missing link (-ing hypotheses)",
abstract = "The paper argues that both evolutionary and genetic approaches to studying the biological foundations of speech and language could benefit from fractionating the problem at a finer grain, aiming not to map genetics to {"}language{"}-or even subdomains of language such as {"}phonology{"} or {"}syntax{"}-but rather to link genetic results to component formal operations that underlie processing the comprehension and production of linguistic representations. Neuroanatomic and neurophysiological research suggests that language processing is broken down in space (distributed functional anatomy along concurrent pathways) and time (concurrent processing on multiple time scales). These parallel neuronal pathways and their local circuits form the infrastructure of speech and language and are the actual targets of evolution/genetics. Therefore, investigating the mapping from gene to brain circuit to linguistic phenotype at the level of generic computational operations (subroutines actually executable in these circuits) stands to provide a new perspective on the biological foundations in the healthy and challenged brain.",
keywords = "Evolution, Functional anatomy, Linguistics, Neural circuit",
author = "David Poeppel",
year = "2011",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1007/s11689-011-9097-0",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "3",
pages = "381--387",
journal = "Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders",
issn = "1866-1947",
publisher = "Springer New York",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Genetics and language

T2 - A neurobiological perspective on the missing link (-ing hypotheses)

AU - Poeppel, David

PY - 2011/12

Y1 - 2011/12

N2 - The paper argues that both evolutionary and genetic approaches to studying the biological foundations of speech and language could benefit from fractionating the problem at a finer grain, aiming not to map genetics to "language"-or even subdomains of language such as "phonology" or "syntax"-but rather to link genetic results to component formal operations that underlie processing the comprehension and production of linguistic representations. Neuroanatomic and neurophysiological research suggests that language processing is broken down in space (distributed functional anatomy along concurrent pathways) and time (concurrent processing on multiple time scales). These parallel neuronal pathways and their local circuits form the infrastructure of speech and language and are the actual targets of evolution/genetics. Therefore, investigating the mapping from gene to brain circuit to linguistic phenotype at the level of generic computational operations (subroutines actually executable in these circuits) stands to provide a new perspective on the biological foundations in the healthy and challenged brain.

AB - The paper argues that both evolutionary and genetic approaches to studying the biological foundations of speech and language could benefit from fractionating the problem at a finer grain, aiming not to map genetics to "language"-or even subdomains of language such as "phonology" or "syntax"-but rather to link genetic results to component formal operations that underlie processing the comprehension and production of linguistic representations. Neuroanatomic and neurophysiological research suggests that language processing is broken down in space (distributed functional anatomy along concurrent pathways) and time (concurrent processing on multiple time scales). These parallel neuronal pathways and their local circuits form the infrastructure of speech and language and are the actual targets of evolution/genetics. Therefore, investigating the mapping from gene to brain circuit to linguistic phenotype at the level of generic computational operations (subroutines actually executable in these circuits) stands to provide a new perspective on the biological foundations in the healthy and challenged brain.

KW - Evolution

KW - Functional anatomy

KW - Linguistics

KW - Neural circuit

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=82855172048&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=82855172048&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s11689-011-9097-0

DO - 10.1007/s11689-011-9097-0

M3 - Article

VL - 3

SP - 381

EP - 387

JO - Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders

JF - Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders

SN - 1866-1947

IS - 4

ER -