MRI findings in boys with specific language impairment

Elena Plante, Linda Swisher, Rebecca Vance, Steven Rapcsak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


Magnetic resonance imaging scans of specifically language-impaired (SLI) boys were examined to determine whether atypical cerebral findings could be documented in children whose primary deficits were in language skills. Clinical examination of the scans failed to reveal any visually obvious lesions or abnormalities. In contrast, measurement of the scans revealed atypical perisylvian asymmetries in most of these subjects. The distribution of perisylvian asymmetries in SLI subjects was significantly different from the distribution in controls (p < .01). Measurement of other brain regions revealed that extraperisylvian areas were occasionally deviant in individual SLI subjects; but no one region was consistently deviant across the SLI group. Thus, only atypical perisylvian asymmetries were linked to the language disorder. These neuroanatomical findings suggest that a prenatal alteration of brain development underlies specific language impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-66
Number of pages15
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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