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We report a study of eight members of a single family (aged 8-72 years), who all show a specific deficit in linking semantic knowledge to language. All affected members of the family had high levels of overall intelligence; however, they had profound difficulties in prose and sentence recall, listening comprehension and naming. The behavioural deficit was remarkably consistent across affected family members. Structural neuroimaging data revealed grey matter abnormalities in the left infero-temporal cortex and fusiform gyri: brain areas that have been associated with integrative semantics. This family demonstrates, to our knowledge, the first example of a heritable, highly specific abnormality affecting the interface between language and cognition in humans and has important implications for our understanding of the genetic basis of cognition.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences|
|Early online date||20 Jun 2012|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Sep 2012|