BIOLOGICAL FACTORS UNDERLYING THE DEVELOPMENT OF LANGUAGE AND LITERACY SKILLS.
Theme Leader: R. Harrison, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
In an hierarchical model, language and literacy evolve as complex behaviours based on more
fundamental building blocks. At a basic level, adequate sensory input from auditory and visual
systems is essential. Transmission pathways from periphery to cortex must develop such that
there are adequate central representations of speech signals, and their abstracted visual
equivalents. Neural information pathways between auditory and visual areas, together with motor
cortex have to be established adequately.
What is meant by each of the terms "adequate" is very poorly understood. Full language and
reading ability requires that each stage of the process be completed more or less normally. This
developmental continuum can be perturbed at any point in time, and the hierarchy can be damaged
at any level. However, early deficits are more likely to affect more basic components of the
hierarchy (although not always).
The goal of Theme I is to understand more fully the basic developmental neural processes that
provide the substrate for all the higher level mechanisms that culminate in language and literacy
Effect of Noise Trauma in Early Age On Cortical Coding of Speech
Using Neuroimaging Methods to Elucidate Mechanisms of Speech Processing and Reading in Healthy, Dyslexic and Down Syndrome Populations.
The development of the neural projections responsible for sound frequency representation in the central auditory system.
Last Modified: January 31 2002 15:37:47.