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Neuroimage. 2001 Oct;14(4):837-43.

Normal fMRI brain activation patterns in children performing a verb generation task.

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Children's Hospital Research Foundation, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.


Although much is known concerning brain-language relations in adults, little is known about how these functions might be represented during the developmental period. We report results from 17 normal children, ages 7-18 years, who have successfully completed a word fluency paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging at 3 Tesla. Regions of activation replicate those reported for adult subjects. However, a statistically significant association between hemispheric lateralization of activation and age was found in the children. Specifically, although most subjects at all ages showed left hemisphere dominance for this task, the degree of lateralization increased with age. This study demonstrates that fMRI can reveal developmental shifts in the pattern of brain activation associated with semantic language function.

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