Table of Contents Author Guidelines
Neuroscience Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 585237, 21 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/585237
Review Article

Language Development across the Life Span: A Neuropsychological/Neuroimaging Perspective

1Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University, 3200 College Avenue, Davie, FL 33314, USA
2Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA
3Instituto de Neurociencias, Universidad de Guadalajara, Guadalajara, JAL, Mexico
4Florida Atlantic University, Davie, FL, USA

Received 26 August 2014; Accepted 25 November 2014; Published 18 December 2014

Academic Editor: J. Eric Schmitt

Copyright © 2014 Mónica Rosselli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Language development has been correlated with specific changes in brain development. The aim of this paper is to analyze the linguistic-brain associations that occur from birth through senescence. Findings from the neuropsychological and neuroimaging literature are reviewed, and the relationship of language changes observable in human development and the corresponding brain maturation processes across age groups are examined. Two major dimensions of language development are highlighted: naming (considered a major measure of lexical knowledge) and verbal fluency (regarded as a major measure of language production ability). Developmental changes in the brain lateralization of language are discussed, emphasizing that in early life there is an increase in functional brain asymmetry for language, but that this asymmetry changes over time, and that changes in the volume of gray and white matter are age-sensitive. The effects of certain specific variables, such as gender, level of education, and bilingualism are also analyzed. General conclusions are presented and directions for future research are suggested.