P2") is a gene
that is implicated in the development of language
skills, including grammatical competence.
There are several reasons for believing that the linguistic impairments associated with a mutation of the FOXP2 gene are not simply the result of a fundamental deficit in motor control. For example:
- the impairments include difficulties in comprehension;
- brain imaging of affected individuals indicates functional abnormalities in language-related cortical regions, demonstrating that the problems extend beyond the motor system.
Athough FOXP2 exists in many animals, the modern human form of FOXP2 appears to have evolved in Homo sapiens
some time in the last 200,000 years. This
has provided some support for speculation about a link between the evolution of the modern human form of FOXP2 with the advent of modern human creativity and culture.
- Evolution of Homo sapiens
- FOX proteins
- Lai CSL, Fisher SE, Hurst JA, et al.: A forkhead-domain gene is mutated in a severe speech and language disorder. Nature 2001, 413:519-523.
- Enard W, Przeworski M, Fisher SE, et al.: Molecular evolution of FOXP2, a gene involved in speech and language. Nature 2002, doi:10.1038/nature01025.