Speech Language and Reading at the International Conference

Speech and Language continues to be a key focus of the International Conference this time around.  Professor Simon Fisher joins us for a keynote session entitled: A genomic perspective on speech, language and reading.

This session will be an investigation of how the biological basis of human speech, language and reading is being transformed by developments in molecular technologies, including high-throughput genotyping and next-generation DNA sequencing of whole genomes. These advances are shedding new light on the genetic architecture underlying major language-related disorders, including speech apraxia, specific language impairment, and developmental dyslexia, as well as that contributing to variation in relevant skills in the general population.

Professor Fisher’s session will explain how state-of-the-art methods are uncovering a range of genetic mechanisms, from rare mutations of large effect to common DNA variants that increase risk in a subtle way. It will go on to highlight the unusual challenges, as well as the exciting opportunities, associated with studying the genomics of language-related traits. Finally, Professor Fisher will use examples like FOXP2 to illustrate that gene discovery is not an end goal of the research, but rather a starting point for deciphering the critical neurobiological pathways.

Professor Julia Carroll and her team will also explore: The roles of hearing and speech in dyslexia: evidence from four large samples as a symposium presentation on Thursday afternoon.  If this is an area of interest for you then we have lots to offer at the International Conference!

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