Brain Mechanisms Supporting Distinct Languages

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This article briefly outlines key issues related to the neurological substrate of basic language and reading functions in native speakers of Indo-European and Oriental Languages, and in individuals who are competent in more than one language. Modern neuroimaging techniques have been used in order to address conflicting results produced by older, less flexible methods. When issues of validity and reliability of brain activation protocols are systematically addressed, converging results across methods can be obtained. Only then can neuroimaging findings provide useful data and inform education policy regarding formal language learning and reading instruction and remediation. These are steps that can ensure that we can bring the technology and approaches to bear on the problems of learning disabilities in a focused and productive way.

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