June3rd2008 - Components of Language All languages have...

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1 Vocal Communication Components of Language All languages have similar basic elements: Phonemes – basic speech sounds Morphemes – simple units of meaning Semantics – meanings of words or sentences Development From birth, babies can distinguish phonemes from any language. Language development depends on experience during a sensitive period . A mutation of the FOXP2 gene delays learning to speak. The FOXP2 Gene • Transcriptional factor – Controls the expression of other genes • In several species expressed in brain areas associated with vocal learning The FOXP2 Gene People with the mutation of FOXP2 have different brain activation during a language task. FOXP2 gene is very different in humans than in apes, suggesting rapid evolution of this gene in our species. Figure 19.1 A Heritable Language Disorder (Part 1)
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2 Figure 19.1 A Heritable Language Disorder (Part 2) Comparative Method Other species display vocalizations. Sounds may distinguish species, signal readiness to mate, or alert others to danger. A parallel to humans is that mice with FOXP2 mutations have impaired vocalization. Singing Mice? • Mice vocalizations are ultrasonic (very high frequency) • Genetically identical male mice show individual differences in vocalizations Copyright ©2005 by the National Academy of Sciences Shu, Weiguo et al. (2005) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102, 9643-9648 Fig. 4. Vocalization and behavior in mice with a disruption of the Foxp2 locus
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This note was uploaded on 09/13/2010 for the course PSC Psychology taught by Professor Cossowings during the Spring '08 term at UC Davis.

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June3rd2008 - Components of Language All languages have...

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