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Dev Sci. 2007 Jan;10(1):110-20.

Is speech learning 'gated' by the social brain?

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  • 1Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


I advance the hypothesis that the earliest phases of language acquisition -- the developmental transition from an initial universal state of language processing to one that is language-specific -- requires social interaction. Relating human language learning to a broader set of neurobiological cases of communicative development, I argue that the social brain 'gates' the computational mechanisms involved in human language learning.

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