In this paper we highlight why there is a need to examine subcortical learning systems in children with language impairment and dyslexia, rather than focusing solely on cortical areas relevant for language. First, behavioural studies find that children with these neurodevelopmental disorders perform less well than peers on procedural learning tasks that depend on corticostriatal learning circuits. Second, fMRI studies in neurotypical adults implicate corticostriatal and hippocampal systems in language learning. Finally, structural and functional abnormalities are seen in the striatum in children with language disorders. Studying corticostriatal networks in developmental language disorders could offer us insights into their neurobiological basis and elucidate possible modes of compensation for intervention.
- procedural learning
- specific language impairment