When two are better than one: Bilateral mesial temporal lobe contributions associated with better vocabulary skills in children and adolescents

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Brain Lang. 2018 Sep;184:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2018.06.001. Epub 2018 Jun 15.


This study considered the involvement of the mesial temporal lobe (MTL) in language and verbal memory functions in healthy children and adolescents. We investigated 30 healthy, right-handed children and adolescents, aged 7-16, with a fMRI language paradigm and a comprehensive cognitive test battery. We found significant MTL activations during language fMRI in all participants; 63% of them had left lateralized MTL activations, 20% exhibited right MTL lateralization, and 17% showed bilateral MTL involvement during the fMRI language paradigm. Group analyses demonstrated a strong negative correlation between the lateralization of MTL activations and language functions. Specifically, children with less lateralized MTL activation showed significantly better vocabulary skills. These findings suggest that the mesial temporal lobes of both hemispheres play an important role in language functioning, even in right-handers. Our results furthermore show that bilateral mesial temporal lobe involvement is advantageous for vocabulary skills in healthy, right-handed children and adolescents.

PMID:29913315 | PMC:PMC6192511 | DOI:10.1016/j.bandl.2018.06.001

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