Splenium development and early spoken language in human infants
Meghan R. Swanson, Jason J. Wolff, Jed T. Elison, Hongbin Gu, Heather C. Hazlett, Kelly Botteron, Martin Styner, Sarah Paterson, Guido Gerig, John Constantino, Stephen Dager, Annette Estes, Clement Vachet, Joseph Piven and for the IBIS Network
Version of Record online: 21 OCT 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12360
The association between developmental trajectories of language-related white matter fiber pathways from 6 to 24 months of age and individual differences in language production at 24 months of age were investigated in 77 typically developing infants. The rate of change in splenium development varied significantly as a function of language production, such that children with greater change in fractional anisotropy from 6 to 24 months produced more words at 24 months (blue solid line in figure). These findings highlight the importance of tracing brain development trajectories from infancy to fully elucidate emerging brain-behavior associations while also emphasizing the role of the splenium as a key node in the structural network that supports the acquisition of spoken language.