Cerebral asymmetry and language development: are they linked and if so how?
15th May, 1:00 PM
School of Medicine Lecture Theatre
Dorothy V. M. Bishop
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford
We know that language function in the human brain is usually lateralized to the left hemisphere, but we don’t know how or why. A popular view is that cerebral asymmetry facilitates language acquisition by enabling the two hemispheres to adopt complementary roles in cognitive processing. A related idea is that developmental language disorders may be the consequence of a failure to develop cerebral lateralization, but until lately evidence has been weak and indirect. I will present data from a series of studies confirming that language difficulties in children are associated with a lack of the usual bias to left-hemisphere language. I will discuss whether such results can be accommodated within a genetic model of cerebral asymmetry.
Dorothy Bishop studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University before going on to complete an M.Phil in Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry in 1975 and D.Phil at the Neuropsychology Unit in the Radcliffe Infirmary. She was for 20 years funded by the Medical Research Council, first in Oxford, and then at the universities of Newcastle upon Tyne and Manchester, and at the MRC Applied Psychology Unit in Cambridge. In 1998, she moved to the Department of Experimental Psychology in Oxford, where she is funded by a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellowship, and heads a programme of research into children’s communication impairments. She has published over 400 papers receiving more than 26500 cumulative citations. Dorothy is a founding member of the RALLIcampaign, aimed at raising awareness about language disorders https://www.youtube.com/user/RALLIcampaign
She is a Fellow of the British Academy, and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and this year has been elected Fellow of the Royal Society.
In addition she writes a popular blog on a range of academic-related topics http://deevybee.blogspot.co.uk/
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