Effect of corpus callosum agenesis on the language network in children and adolescents

Lisa Bartha-Doehring, Ernst Schwartz, Kathrin Kollndorfer, Florian Fischmeister, Astrid Novak, Georg Langs, Harald Werneck, Daniela Prayer, Rainer Seidl, Gregor Kasprian

The present study is interested in the role of the corpus callosum in the development of the language network. We, therefore, investigated language abilities and the language network using task-based fMRI in three cases of complete agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC), three cases of partial ACC and six controls. Although the children with complete ACC revealed impaired functions in specific language domains, no child with partial ACC showed a test score below average. As a group, ACC children performed significantly worse than healthy controls in verbal fluency and naming. Furthermore, whole-brain ROI-to-ROI connectivity analyses revealed reduced intrahemispheric and right intrahemispheric functional connectivity in ACC patients as compared to controls. In addition, stronger functional connectivity between left and right temporal areas was associated with better language abilities in the ACC group. In healthy controls, no association between language abilities and connectivity was found. Our results show that ACC is associated not only with less interhemispheric, but also with less right intrahemispheric language network connectivity in line with reduced verbal abilities. The present study, thus, supports the excitatory role of the corpus callosum in functional language network connectivity and language abilities.

Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology
External organisation(s)
Medizinische Universität Wien, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Brain Structure and Function
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
501005 Developmental psychology, 302035 Paediatrics and adolescent medicine
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