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Title: Approaching motor and language deficits in autism from below: a biolinguistic perspective
Author: Benítez Burraco, Antonio, 1972-
Boeckx, Cedric
Keywords: Trastorns de l'espectre autista
Gramàtica cognitiva
Autism spectrum disorders
Cognitive grammar
Issue Date: 30-Mar-2015
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Abstract: In their paper "Oral motor deficits in speech-impaired children with autism" (Front. Integr. Neurosci. 7:47). Belmonte et al. (2013) argue that expressive language deficits in a subgroup of people with autism result from the impairment of the oromotor function. As a matter of fact, the paper appeared in a Frontiers Research Topic that brings movement to the forefront of autism research. Ultimately, this collection of papers aims to support the view that movement and cognition should be considered jointly if we want to properly diagnose and treat this condition, and that motor abnormalities may constitute a significant and robust endophenotype for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (see Esposito and Paşca, 2013). At the same time, advances in genome-wide technology have yielded an increasing amount of genes related to autism, which point to specific mechanisms and pathways underlying its associated deficits (Jeremy Willsey and State, 2014). However, as pointed out by Jeste and Geschwind (2014) robust endophenotypes of the disorder based on these findings are still forthcoming and the gap between the pathophysiology of autism and genes still remains open. The goal of this commentary is to contribute to bridge this gap between genes and ASD, focusing specifically on motor dysfunction and language deficits in people with autism. In doing so, we will adduce considerations from the fields of the biology of language and of language evolution (aka Biolinguistics). We hope that steps of the sort we take will eventually help us better understand the comorbidity, heterogeneity, and variability of ASD, but also the biological underpinnings of the human faculty of language.
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It is part of: Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 2015, vol. 9, num. 25
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ISSN: 1662-5145
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Filologia Catalana i Lingüística General)

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