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What can mice tell us about Foxp2 function?

French, C. A., & Fisher, S. E. (2014). What can mice tell us about Foxp2 function? Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 28, 72-79. doi:10.1016/j.conb.2014.07.003.
Disruptions of the FOXP2 gene cause a rare speech and language disorder, a discovery that has opened up novel avenues for investigating the relevant neural pathways. FOXP2 shows remarkably high conservation of sequence and neural expression in diverse vertebrates, suggesting that studies in other species are useful in elucidating its functions. Here we describe how investigations of mice that carry disruptions of Foxp2 provide insights at multiple levels: molecules, cells, circuits and behaviour. Work thus far has implicated the gene in key processes including neurite outgrowth, synaptic plasticity, sensorimotor integration and motor-skill learning.
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The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.

 

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