Study Shows Genetics Plays Key Role in Infant Language Development

Scientists at the University of Bristol published a study that shows genetics is a significant factor for infants learning to speak.

The group collaborated with other international scientists and discovered that the number of words children say in the initial period of developing language has a direct association with changes near the ROBO2 gene.

Chromosome 3 carries the ROBO2 gene and also is connected with speech and learning struggles such as difficulty spelling and reading and dyslexia. The gene is related to the brain’s function in storing speech sounds as well.

“This research helps us to better understand the genetic factors which may be involved in the early language development in healthy children, particularly at a time when children speak with single words only, and strengthens the link between ROBO proteins and a variety of linguistic skills in humans,” study leader Beate St. Pourcain said in a press release.