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Although language, and therefore spoken language or speech, is often considered unique to humans, the past several decades have seen a surge in nonhuman animal studies that inform us about human spoken language. Here, I present a modern, evolution-based synthesis of these studies, from behavioral to molecular levels of analyses. Among the key concepts drawn are that components of spoken language are continuous between species, and that the vocal learning component is the most specialized and rarest and evolved by brain pathway duplication from an ancient motor learning pathway. These concepts have important implications for understanding brain mechanisms and disorders of spoken language.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Science (New York, N.Y.)
Vocal learning is a behavioral trait in which the social and acoustic environment shapes the vocal repertoire of individuals. Over the past century, the study of vocal learning has progressed at the i...
The zebra finch has been used as a valuable vocal learning animal model for human spoken language. It is representative of vocal learning songbirds specifically, which comprise half of all bird specie...
Learning to read transforms the brain, building on children's existing capacities for language and visuospatial processing. In particular, the development of print-speech convergence, or the spatial o...
Purpose The purpose of our study was to test the hypotheses (a) that children with dyslexia have spoken word learning deficits primarily related to phonology and (b) that children with dyslexia and co...
Studies of avian vocal development without exposure to conspecific song have been conducted in many passerine species, and the resultant isolate song is often interpreted to represent an expression of...
Tinnitus may affect the ability of patients to detect emotions in spoken language. This study will compare this ability between tinnitus patients and non-tinnitus patients.
The cognitive control of speech is central to human social communication. Two frontal brain regions seem to have a critical role: 1) Broca's area (BA) and 2) the mid-cingulate cortex (MCC)...
The purpose of this study is to test whether Direct Instruction - Language for Learning (DI-LL) is an effective way to teach language skills to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)...
The sophisticated language of science can be a barrier to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning, especially for children who have specific language impairment (SLI). T...
This study will contrast two experimental treatment conditions by testing whether joint attention/joint engagement intervention using spoken communication (JAE-EMT) results in better outco...
Skills in the use of language which lead to proficiency in written or spoken communication.
Conditions characterized by deficiencies of comprehension or expression of written and spoken forms of language. These include acquired and developmental disorders.
A cognitive disorder marked by an impaired ability to comprehend or express language in its written or spoken form. This condition is caused by diseases which affect the language areas of the dominant hemisphere. Clinical features are used to classify the various subtypes of this condition. General categories include receptive, expressive, and mixed forms of aphasia.
Process in which individuals take the initiative, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying resources for learning, choosing and implementing learning strategies and evaluating learning outcomes (Knowles, 1975)
Transmission of emotions, ideas, and attitudes between individuals in ways other than the spoken language.