Human language is one of the most distinct and fascinating features of humankind. As a system of communication, language supports peer contact and interaction but also cognitive development, learning and knowledge transfer. Our understanding of the genetic mechanisms behind this complex phenotype is, however, still poor. Our group aims to decipher the genetic basis of language and communication in typically developing children using modern genetic epidemiological analysis techniques.
We have developed multivariate genetic-relationship-matrix structural equation modelling (GRMSEM) techniques in samples of unrelated individuals. For this, we combined whole-genome genotyping information with structural equation modelling techniques, analogous to twin research methodologies. The code is implemented within the R GRMSEM package and includes functions to fit "Cholesky decomposition", "Independent Pathway", and "Common Pathway" models (links to these tools:CRAN, GRMSEM)