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October 18, 2003

FOXP2

Carl Zimmer blogs about FOXP2, the "language gene" that has been getting a lot of press in the past few years.


The scientists found that a change to FOXP2 changes the way the brain handles language. Specifically, in people with mutant copies of the gene, a language processing area of the brain called Broca's area is far less active than in people with normal FOXP2.

The implications for this sort of research slices across many fields-linguistics, evolutionary psychology, neuroscience and palaeoanthropology. As Carl notes, FOXP2 might not be a silver bullet, but it is illustrative of the path we might take to elucidate complex phenotypes and the genes that undergird them.

Posted by razib at 12:05 AM