24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825
Fax: (361)578-5500

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Poverty Might Raise Black Kids' Health Risks as Early as Age 5Losing Some TV Ads Might Reduce Childhood ObesityIt's Tough to Change the Minds of 'Vaccine-Hesitant' Parents, Study FindsStudy Probes Links in Asthma, Food Sensitivity and Irritable Bowel SyndromeYour Guide to a Safe and Happy HalloweenKids' Hospitalizations Accompany Rising Unemployment Rates: StudyMusic Classes Strike a Chord in Kids' Brain Development: StudyFor Kids Who Hit Puberty Early, Risk of Self-Harm RisesPediatricians' Group Tackles Racism in Health CarePandemic Silver Lining: Steep Drop in Kids' FracturesPlan Ahead to Keep Halloween Safe for Kids With Asthma, AllergiesEarly School Sports Reduce ADHD Symptoms Years Later for GirlsDo Minority Kids Face More Danger During Surgeries?1 in 3 U.S. Parents Won't Get Flu Shots for Their Kids: SurveyKids Much Less Prone to Coronavirus Infection Than Adults: StudyImmune System Clues to Why COVID Is Easier on KidsFDA Warns of Danger From 'Benadryl Challenge,' Asks TikTok to Remove VideosAfter COVID-19 Exposure, When Can Young Athletes Resume Play?Kids Who Need Steroids Face Risk of Diabetes, Other IllsMom-to-Be's Pot Use Linked With Higher Odds for Kids' Mental WoesKids Often Hit Hard by Death of Beloved Pet, Study FindsHolidays Can Be a Fright for Kids With Food AllergiesHow to Help Ensure Your Students Get Enough SleepAs Schools Reopen, Many Students, Staff Live With High-Risk Family MemberBlack Kids at Higher Odds for ADHDProbiotic Might Help Ease Children's EczemaMore Than 1 in 3 U.S. Pediatricians Dismiss Vaccine-Refusing FamiliesDeath From COVID-19 Very Rare for Americans 21 and Under: ReportAre School Lunches a Ticket to Healthy Eating?Fewer Kids May Be Carrying Coronavirus Without Symptoms Than Believed: StudyAre At-Home 'Learning Pods' the Right Fit for Your Family?Kids at 2 Utah Day Cares Easily Spread COVID to FamiliesChildren Use Both Sides of the Brain to Understand LanguagePlaying Football at Young Age Doesn't Slow Concussion Recovery in CollegeYouth Vaping Down, But Still Popular: CDCOver Half a Million U.S. Kids Already Infected With COVID-19Rates of Child Hospitalization Similar Between COVID-19, Flu: StudyFirst Trial of Gene-Targeted Asthma Rx in Kids Shows PromiseKids Can Have Coronavirus And Antibodies at Same Time: StudyKeep School Sports Safe During PandemicCOVID-19 Precautions Extend to Car Seats, Seat BeltsAHA News: How to Keep Kids Active While Learning From Home – and Why That's VitalDoes TV And Computer Time Affect Kids' Math, Reading?Kids, Teens Usually Have Mild COVID-19 Infections, Rarely Fatal Ones: StudyUSDA Extends Free School Meals Program Amid PandemicTime Spent in Nature Boosts Kids' Well-BeingSweet-Tooth Tendencies Change as Kids Get Older: StudyA Guide to Managing Children's Diabetes During COVID-19U.S. COVID Cases Pass 6 Million, With Infections Rising in YouthsArtificial Pancreas Controls Diabetes in Kids 6 and Up, Clinical Trial Shows
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)

Children Use Both Sides of the Brain to Understand Language

HealthDay News
by -- Steven Reinberg
Updated: Sep 10th 2020

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Sept. 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Adults process language on one side of the brain, but kids use both hemispheres, a new study suggests.

The finding might explain why children recover more easily from brain injuries than adults, the study authors added.

"This is very good news for young children who experience a neural injury," said researcher Elissa Newport. She's a neurology professor at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

"Use of both hemispheres provides a mechanism to compensate after a neural injury," Newport said in a Georgetown news release. "For example, if the left hemisphere is damaged from a perinatal stroke -- one that occurs right after birth -- a child will learn language using the right hemisphere. A child born with cerebral palsy that damages only one hemisphere can develop needed cognitive abilities in the other hemisphere. Our study demonstrates how that is possible."

In nearly all adults, processing sentences is only possible in the left hemisphere. But in very young children, language can be recovered in many patients even if the left hemisphere is severely damaged.

"It was unclear whether strong left dominance for language is present at birth or appears gradually during development," Newport noted.

Using functional MRI (fMRI), the researchers showed that adult language patterns are not established in young children, where both hemispheres are involved in language during early development.

For the study, the researchers enrolled 39 healthy children, aged 4 to 13; and 14 adults, aged 18 to 29.

The participants were given a sentence comprehension task. The researchers analyzed fMRI activation patterns in each hemisphere of the participants' brains.

The investigators then compared the language activation maps for children and adults. They also looked at the whole brain to identify areas where language activation was correlated with age.

The findings showed that even young children had left-brain language activation. Many of the youngest children also had activation in the right hemisphere.

In adults, the right hemisphere is activated while processing emotions expressed with the voice. In young children, however, areas in both hemispheres were each activated in the meaning of sentences and emotion.

If researchers could do the same analysis in even younger children, "it is likely we would see even greater functional involvement of the right hemisphere in language processing than we see in our youngest participants (ages 4 to 6 years)," Newport said.

"Our findings suggest that the normal involvement of the right hemisphere in language processing during very early childhood may permit the maintenance and enhancement of right hemisphere development if the left hemisphere is injured," she said.

The report was published online Sept. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More information

For more on language in children, head to the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.