Maturation of Speech and Language Functional Neuroanatomy in Pediatric Normal Controls Purpose This study explores the relationship between age and resting-state regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in regions associated with higher order language skills using a population of normal children, adolescents, and young adults. Method rCBF was measured in 33 normal participants between the ages of 7 and 19 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2006
Maturation of Speech and Language Functional Neuroanatomy in Pediatric Normal Controls
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michael D. Devous, Sr.
    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
    University of Texas at Dallas
  • Dianne Altuna
    University of Texas at Dallas
  • Nicholas Furl
    University of Texas at Dallas
  • William Cooper
    University of Texas at Dallas
  • Gretchen Gabbert
    University of Texas at Dallas
  • Wei Tat Ngai
    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Stephanie Chiu
    University of Texas at Dallas
  • Jack M. Scott, III
    University of Texas at Dallas
  • Thomas S. Harris
    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • J. Kelly Payne
    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Emily A. Tobey
    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
    University of Texas at Dallas and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Contact author: Michael D. Devous, Sr., Nuclear Medicine Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75390-9061. Email: Michael.Devous@UTSouthwestern.edu
Article Information
Development / Hearing & Speech Perception / Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2006
Maturation of Speech and Language Functional Neuroanatomy in Pediatric Normal Controls
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2006, Vol. 49, 856-866. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/061)
History: Received April 16, 2004 , Revised January 27, 2005 , Accepted November 11, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2006, Vol. 49, 856-866. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/061)
History: Received April 16, 2004; Revised January 27, 2005; Accepted November 11, 2005

Purpose This study explores the relationship between age and resting-state regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in regions associated with higher order language skills using a population of normal children, adolescents, and young adults.

Method rCBF was measured in 33 normal participants between the ages of 7 and 19 years using single photon emission computed tomography. Participants' ages were regressed on rCBF values (normalized to whole-brain CBF) in 2 ways: (a) within anatomically defined, language-related regions of interest (ROIs) including Wernicke’s area, Broca’s area, angular gyrus, planum temporale, and Heschl’s gyrus and (b) within clusters of voxels found to be significantly related to age in voxel-wise analyses.

Results rCBF in all anatomically defined ROIs except Heschl’s gyrus declined as a function of age. Additionally, voxel-wise analyses revealed clusters where rCBF declined with age in left inferior parietal, left superior temporal, and right middle temporal regions—areas often implicated in higher order language functions.

Conclusions These data suggest that ongoing maturation (e.g., dendritic pruning) in higher order cognitive areas (e.g., angular gyrus) continues into adolescence, as reflected by declining rCBF, while the primary auditory area (Heschl’s gyrus) has become a stable neuronal population by age 7 years.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported in part by National Institute of Mental Health Grant K07 MH01057 and National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant DC 04558-01 and by funds from the Nuclear Medicine Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and the Nelle C. Johnston Chair, University of Texas at Dallas. In addition, Amersham Health, Inc. generously provided Ceretec for all imaging studies.
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