An Innate Basis for Language?

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Science  17 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5448, pp. 2283-2284
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5448.2283

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It is well established that abilities such as language are mediated by specific brain regions in adulthood, but it is still a matter of debate whether such specialization is present from birth or whether it emerges during the course of early childhood development. In an elegant Perspective, Dorothy Bishop discusses whether new findings in infants with Williams syndrome (WS)--a disorder in which it has been claimed that language abilities are largely retained even though other cognitive impairments abound--may help to resolve this debate ( Paterson et al. ).