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Inconsistent lateralisation of language functions: A risk factor for language impairment?

Bradshaw, AR; Woodhead, ZVJ; Thompson, PA; Bishop, DVM; (2020) Inconsistent lateralisation of language functions: A risk factor for language impairment? European Journal of Neuroscience , 51 (4) pp. 1106-1121. 10.1111/ejn.14623. Green open access

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Abstract

Disruption to language lateralisation has been proposed as a cause of developmental language impairments. In this study we tested the idea that consistency of lateralisation across different language functions is associated with language ability. A large sample of adults with variable language abilities (N = 67 with a developmental disorder affecting language and N = 37 controls) were recruited. Lateralisation was measured using functional transcranial Doppler sonography (fTCD) for three language tasks that engage different language sub‐processes (phonological decision, semantic decision and sentence generation). The whole sample was divided into those with consistent versus inconsistent lateralisation across the three tasks. Language ability (using a battery of standardised tests) was compared between the consistent and inconsistent groups. The results did not show a significant effect of lateralisation consistency on language skills. However, of the 31 individuals showing inconsistent lateralisation the vast majority (84%) were in the disorder group with only 5 controls showing such a pattern, a difference that was higher than would be expected by chance. The developmental disorder group also demonstrated weaker correlations between laterality indices across pairs of tasks. In summary, although the data did not support the hypothesis that inconsistent language lateralisation is a major cause of poor language skills, the results suggested that some subtypes of language disorder are associated with inefficient distribution of language functions between hemispheres. Inconsistent lateralisation could be a causal factor in the aetiology of language disorder, or may arise in some cases as the consequence of developmental disorder, possibly reflective of compensatory reorganisation.

Type: Article
Title: Inconsistent lateralisation of language functions: A risk factor for language impairment?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ejn.14623
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.14623
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: developmental disorder, Functional Transcranial Doppler Sonography, hemispheric specialisation, language lateralisation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10086264
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