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Gene Discovery Offers Clues To How Infants Pick Up Language - featured February 14, 2011

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[Source: Medical News Today]

Scientists have made a key genetic discovery that could help explain how people learn language. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found a gene - called ROBO1 - linked to the mechanism in the brain that helps infants develop speech.

They say identifying the gene could help us explain how some aspects of language learning in infants are influenced by genetic traits rather than educational factors. The scientists conducted a five - year study, assessing the language learning techniques of 538 families with upto five offspring.

They found that one version of the ROBO1 gene greatly enhanced a core component of language learning. The gene directs chemicals in brain cells that help infants store and translate speech sounds they hear into meaningful language.

The researchers found a significant link between the way this gene functions and the brains ability to store speech sounds for a brief period of time.

Read the Rest of this Article on Medical News Today

Tags: News of the Week Language Newsletter 18 February 2011