Language lateralisation increases with age in very preterm born 7-12 year-olds but not in term born control children

Perrig, Walter J.; Mürner-Lavanchy, I.M.; Ritter, Barbara; Kiefer, Claus; Weisstanner, Christian; Steinlin, Maja; Everts, Regula (2012). Language lateralisation increases with age in very preterm born 7-12 year-olds but not in term born control children (Unpublished). In: 8th Annual Meeting of the Clinical Neuroscience Berne. University Hospital of Psychiatry, Berne. 04.12.2012..

Background: Neural structural abnormalities as well as cognitive difficulties in language processing have been described in children born very preterm (<32 weeks of gestational age and/or <1500 g birth weight). These findings raise the question how premature birth is related to neural language organisation and lateralisation. The aim of the study was to test the following hypotheses: a) VPT/VLBW and control children show different language organisation b) language organisation in VPT/VLBW children is more bilateral compared to language organisation in control children c) positive correlations between language performance measures and language lateralisation exist in VPT/VLBW children and controls.
Method: Brain activity was measured during a phonologic detection task in 56 very preterm born children and 38 term born control children aged 7 to 12 years using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. General IQ, verbal IQ, verbal fluency and reading comprehension were assessed outside the scanner.
Results: Language organisation and lateralisation did not differ in very preterm and control children in overall comparisons. However, in very preterm children lateralisation increased between the age of 7 to 12 years. This correlation was not found in control children. Language organisation in very preterm children was bilateral in young children and left-sided in old children, whereas language organisation in control children was left-sided in the young and old age group. Frontal lateralisation correlated with General IQ in controls, but no other correlations between lateralisation and verbal performance were found.
Discussion: The results of this study suggest different developmental patterns of language processing in very preterm born and term born control children. While very preterm born children showed atypical language organisation and lateralisation in younger years, typical left-sided patterns were found at the age of 12 years.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Psychological and Behavioral Health

UniBE Contributor:

Perrig, Walter, Ritter, Barbara, Kiefer, Claus, Weisstanner, Christian, Steinlin, Maja, Everts, Regula


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Anette van Dorland

Date Deposited:

12 Aug 2014 07:51

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:36


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