Semantic-Cognitive Theory The semantic-cognitive theory is a perspective of language development that emphasizes the interrelationship between language learning and cognition; that is, the meanings conveyed by a child's productions. Here, we directly tested whether semantic knowledge confers a benefit for visual working memory by using familiar and unfamiliar real-world objects. Another phenomenon consistent with the hypothesis that semantic knowledge influences visual working memory capacity, broadly construed, is chunking [ 19 ]. At least one study [130] has shown that rural children with little schooling performed better than schooled Indian or American children in coding and decoding culturally relevant objects, such as grains and seeds. At present, we lack sufficient evidence to determine which one of these neurofunctional explanations is correct or whether the two are contradictory or complementary. M. D. Lezak, D. B. Howieson, E. D. Bigler, and D. Tranel, P. P. M. Hurks, D. 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Inozemtseva, “Gender differences in cognitive development,”, R. C. Gur, B. I. Turetsky, M. Matsui et al., “Sex differences in brain gray and white matter in healthy young adults: correlations with cognitive performance,”, R. A. Kanaan, M. Allin, M. Picchioni et al., “Gender differences in white matter microstructure,”, L. Tian, J. Wang, C. Yan, and Y. [91] meanwhile analyzed performance on the BNT by 1,111 “normal” elderly (ages 50–101) and 61 younger adults (ages 20–49). The authors concluded that these two paradigms successfully activated the regions involved in executive (frontal lobe areas associated with the verbal fluency task) and word retrieval processes (temporal-occipital areas in the left hemisphere). The majority of the population falls somewhere between these two extremes. Although some of the studies described in this review were longitudinal, most were of the cross-sectional type which limits the possibilities of generalizing their results. The authors concluded that there was a continuous decline in naming ability that correlated inversely with age. fMRI activation of the left superior temporal lobe (Wernicke’s area) during a receptive language task (discriminating antonyms from synonyms) in a right handed 13-year-old boy. The aim of this paper is to analyze the linguistic-brain associations that occur from birth through senescence. The diffeomorphic transformation involves repeatedly applying a flow field generated from a set of two-dimensional cosine components with random phase and amplitude. The relative familiarity of each pictured item was validated using a sample of 112 Amazon Mechanical Turk workers who answered the question “Have you seen this type of object before?” using a scale ranging from 1 (“Definitely not”) to 5 (“Definitely yes”). Cabeza and colleagues [79] have suggested that during cognitive task performance a reorganization of brain activation patterns occurs that is age related. Semantic Knowledge is the aspect of language knowledge that involves word meanings and vocabulary. In newborns, as in adults, listening to speech activates a large subset of temporal lobe areas with a marked left-hemispheric dominance. There are, however, other variables that may modulate age effects, among which we can mention gender, level of education, socioeconomic status, and bilingualism. Visual working memory is a system that enables us to maintain and manipulate visual information in our minds [1]. In conclusion, we found evidence for a mnemonic benefit for familiar compared to unfamiliar objects, which demonstrates that semantic knowledge boosts visual working memory performance. Activation in the left prefrontal cortex and right cerebellum. This benefit was observed even in preschool-aged children, which supports the idea that increases in semantic knowledge could contribute to growth in working memory capacity over development. Performance during the phonemic task was equivalent for both age groups and mirrored by strongly left-lateralized (frontal) activity patterns. Such findings have been observed in both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. The introduction into the world of formal instruction enriches and modifies the linguistic input to which a child is exposed, such that the drive towards linguistic reflection permits the development of metalinguistic understanding [43]. [52] used diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging to test for age-related WM changes in 42 adolescents (aged 13.5–21 years). The VF paradigm also activates regions of the inferior frontal gyrus known to be involved in word retrieval, phonological processing, and language production, that is, Broca’s area [98]. The decrease in posterior activation and increase in anterior activation in older brains have been interpreted as part of a compensatory strategy by the frontal lobes [82]. For instance, the influence of environmental variables on the cerebral functioning of language is evident in the phenomenon called “perceptual narrowing,” in which perception is broad at birth, but narrows as a function of experience [16], such that while at birth babies are endowed with universal recognition of phonemes (native and non-native), by the end of the first year a clear decline in the recognition of nonnative phonemes (i.e., those to which they are not exposed) is observed [17, 18]. They found that the increase of WM is much more prominent than the decrease in GM, results which revealed that the most significant changes were in the body of the corpus callosum (related to the integration of sensory and motor cortical information) and the right superior region of the corona radiata (fibers projecting to and from the entire cerebral cortex, particularly the motor cortices). In general, these theories suggest that associations are created between the items in working memory and information held in long-term memory (e.g., canonical chess board layouts, categories of food), allowing for the grouping or chunking of items in working memory. In the verbal domain, this leads to loss of word comprehension and naming, and increasingly degraded and empty speech, though the latter remains fluent and grammatical in output. Unfamiliar objects were pictures of obscure objects and images from the NOUN database. Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field. Participants performed a change detection task that manipulated image familiarity and morph status in a within-subjects design. Regardless of the diversity of functions of Brodmann area 44 ([101] see http://www.fmriconsulting.com/brodmann/Introduction.html), it could be regarded as more of a “motor programming” area, whereas Brodmann area 45 is more of a “language conceptual” area. Writing – review & editing, Affiliation While bilingualism plays an important role at older ages, potentially protecting against age-associated cognitive decline, its effect is somewhat muted in adulthood [137, 138]. They used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify those brain regions that revealed statistically reliable, age-related effects. Damage in Brodmann area 44 (and in the anterior insula) has been associated with speech apraxia [102, 103], whereas pathologies of Brodmann area 45 have been related to extrasylvian (transcortical) motor aphasia [104]. The pattern of activity during the phonemic fluency task was very similar, though a larger network of brain regions appeared to be activated and peak activity in several regions was more pronounced. Giorgio et al. Images in (B) are reprinted under a CC BY license with permission from Horst (2016). Findings from imaging studies suggest that age-related WM changes continue beyond early childhood. They argue that although event-related potential (ERP) components of auditory stimuli show early left lateralization (from 3 months to 3 years), symmetrical cerebral distribution is seen later in life, from 6 to 12 years. Although data point to an asymmetrical distribution of language from birth, lateralization of language in the left hemisphere is modified by experience and, according to many authors, greater lateralization of language in the left hemisphere seems to be an index of maturation. Older children responded by button press, and younger children provided a verbal response. The purpose of this paper is to analyze language development and the changes that occur in its brain organization from birth through senescence, passing through the stages of infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Thus, the familiarity benefit documented in the present studies could similarly be explained by faster encoding of familiar compared to unfamiliar objects. These findings support the notion of a relation between the structural and functional development of the corpus callosum. Sign up here as a reviewer to help fast-track new submissions. The language production task showed an increase with age both in focus and lateralization. Another variable that may influence the effects of age on the brain’s organization of language is the subject’s experience with one or more languages. Parents or guardians of child participants gave written informed consent to Protocol #2013–08–5546 “Language and Cognition in Children and Adults,” which was approved by the University of California, Berkeley Committee for Protection of Human Subjects. The decline in performance during the semantic task in the older group was complemented with additional right (inferior and middle) frontal activity, which was negatively correlated with performance. In a meta-analysis of the brain/language fMRI literature conducted by Vigneau et al. Is the Subject Area "Working memory" applicable to this article? Data Availability: All stimuli, raw data, and the RMarkdown script used to produce the results sections for both experiments can be found at https://osf.io/wmzpx/. On the one hand, studies that have induced familiarity through repeated exposure to novel polygons or geometric patterns have found no benefit in working memory for the familiar versus novel stimuli [10, 11]. [. See Table 4 for a summary of these studies. Semantic relations. However, this experience is quite different for young children, who are constantly encountering and learning about new objects. [27], phonological processing activation peaks were found in the left frontal lobe and the left temporal and inferior parietal areas. Furthermore, gender differences in the maturation rate of both gray and white matter have been reported, with boys showing a faster rate of change than girls [62]. For morphed images, however, memory accuracy did not differ between familiar and unfamiliar images (familiar: M = 81.62% [78.85–84.4%]; unfamiliar: M = 82.56% [79.85–85.27%]; paired t-test: t(18) = -0.61, p = .548, Cohen’s d = -.121). Thus, the increase in vocabulary size correlates with an increase in grammar complexity [30]. Participants gave written informed consent to Protocol #2013–08–5546 “Language and Cognition in Children and Adults,” which was approved by the University of California, Berkeley Committee for Protection of Human Subjects and were compensated with partial course credit. Wilke et al. 125, Issue. Changes in the volume of myelinated WM began in the sensorimotor WM and the Heschl gyrus and extended to language-related areas. Human language is a communication system in which, via a limited number of meaningless sounds (phonemes), it becomes possible to make a virtually unlimited number of combinations that produce meaningful elements (morphemes, words), which can then be combined to generate an almost endless number of sentences. [98] developed two fMRI paradigms to analyze verbal fluency and confrontation naming. 1Semantic development Learning the meanings of words 2The relation between words and their referents • The relationship between the name and the referent is arbitrary and symbolic. To control for possible differences in visual features between the familiar and unfamiliar images, participants performed the task with regular images and with morphed versions of the images. Neuroimaging findings related to language development are introduced in each section. The number of switches increased from 11 to 12 years on the phonemic fluency test but decreased with age on the semantic task. In the real world, we frequently encounter objects that are neither entirely novel nor highly familiar–i.e., strength of familiarity lies on a continuum. In addition, because children in this age range are unlikely to spontaneously use verbal rehearsal strategies [28], children did not perform the concurrent verbal digit rehearsal task. In addition, based on these prior studies it is unknown how much experience or familiarity one must have with an object for it to have an advantage in visual working memory. Briefly, normal adults present greater activation in the left inferior frontal and lateral temporal cortex during both VF and CN. Based on their review, they concluded that there was a continuous decline in naming abilities that correlated inversely with age, since the results of the cross-sectional studies and the longitudinal analysis were similar. Some neurocognitive models have already been proposed for older individuals, such as the vulnerability of anterior brain systems in aging [141, 142]; the brain reorganization hypothesis proposed in the HAROLD model; and the posterior anterior shift in aging [80, 143]. Further work is needed to determine the specific mechanism by which semantic knowledge influences visual working memory capacity. Semantic Development Milestones ... to categorising and description tasks Examples of age-appropriate and non-age appropriate answers Children with language and semantic delays will often have: ... or home-based program designed to equip teachers and parents of 3-4 year old children with activities that will develop semantic knowledge. The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding to the publication of this paper. We analyzed accuracy data using paired t-tests to compare memory accuracy for familiar versus unfamiliar pictures in older and younger children separately (Fig 3). No, Is the Subject Area "Infants" applicable to this article? Children were tested with a similar change detection paradigm to that used in adults in Experiment 1, but with reduced cognitive demands. Verbal fluency was associated with activation in the middle frontal gyrus (BA 46 and 9), the anterior cingulate gyrus, and the inferior frontal gyrus (area 44 and 45). In the Boston Naming Test (BNT) (an often-used neuropsychological measure of lexical knowledge), participants increased the number of correct answers as age and years of schooling increased. The resulting images produce very similar simulated activation patterns to intact images using the HMAX standard model of object perception [25] but are semantically unrecognizable by humans [24]. In fact, DTI studies have demonstrated that the integrity (measure by FA values) of most major WM tracks increased with age during childhood and early adulthood [49] and that temporal lobe gray-matter structures (the amygdala and hippocampus) seem to increase in volume during childhood and adolescence [50]. Among the phonological tasks included in the studies reviewed were syllable repetition or articulation, reading, listening or attending syllables or letters, reading a pseudo-word or counting the number of syllables it contains, counting the syllables in a word, and discriminating whether trial words ended with the same sound. Several commonalities were observed between the younger and older groups in terms of the network of brain areas activated during retrieval. The influence of such additional variables as gender, level of education, and language experience on language development is highlighted at the end of the paper. 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Cuneate gyrus, the total volume of WM increases continuously ( see 2! A reorganization of brain areas activated during retrieval development during the phonemic fluency tasks than phonemic fluency tasks phonemic...