Preface.- Section I - Introduction to Speech and Language Disorders.- Chapter 1. Neurology of Speech and Language Disorders.- Chapter 2. Genetic Pathways Implicated in Speech and Language.- Section II - Songbird Model of Vocal Learning.- Chapter 3. Time Scales of Vocal Learning in Songbirds.- Chapter 4. The Songbird Auditory System.- Chapter 5. Prospective: How the Zebra finch Genome Strengthens Brain-Behavior Connections in Songbird Models of Learned Vocalization.- Chapter 6. The Molecular Convergence of Birdsong and Speech.- Chapter 7. Stuttered Birdsong.- Section III - Mammalian Models of Vocal Communication.- Chapter 8. The Repertoire of Communication Calls Emitted by Bats and the Ways the Calls are Processed in the Inferior Colliculus.- Chapter 9. Language Parallels in New World Primates.- Chapter 10. Apes, Language and the Brain.
Basic research over the last decade or two has uncovered similarities between speech, especially its sensori-motor aspects, and vocal communication in several non-human species. The most comprehensive studies so far have been conducted in songbirds. Songbirds offer us a model system to study the interactions between developmental or genetic predispositions and tutor-dependent influences, on the learning of vocal communication. Songbird research has elucidated cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying learning and production of vocal patterns, perception of vocal sounds, vocal motor control and vocal neuromotor plasticity. More recently, the entire genome of the songbird zebra finch has been sequenced. These discoveries, along with the identification of several genes implicated in familial human speech and language disorders, have made it possible to look for analogues of speech and language dysfunction in zebra finches, at least at the perceptual and sensori-motor levels. Two approaches in particular have led us closer to the development of animal models of human speech conditions, namely developmental stuttering and a familial verbal dyspraxia associated with a mutation in the gene for the transcription factor FoxP2. Work on other animals that show developmental sensori-motor learning of vocal sounds used for communication have also shown significant progress, leading to the possibility of development of models of speech and language dysfunction in them. Among mammals, the principal ones include dolphins and whales. In non-human primates, while vocal learning per se is not very prominent, investigations on their communicative abilities have thrown some light on the rudiments of language. These considerations make the publication of a book focused on animal models of speech and language disorders, detailing the overall investigative approach of neurobehavioral studies in animals capable of vocal communication and learned vocalizations, a much-needed and wor
Details the overall investigative approach of neurobehavioral studies in animals capable of vocal communication and learned vocalizations
A unifying review of research in this new multidisciplinary frontier
Spans the molecular to the behavioral, for clinicians and researchers