Opening Workshop

SLI, Genes, Development & Cognitive Neuroscience

18-20 October 2002

The genetic identification of two novel loci involved in specific language impairment in children (SLI Consortium) along with the earlier findings of the FoxP2 gene implicated in this disorder, has propelled SLI to centre stage for its potential for facilitating our understanding of the relations between genes and cognition (Pinker, 2001). This focussed meeting aims to bring together a multidisciplinary group to disseminate and discuss recent research findings from genetics to cognitive neuroscience in SLI/developmental disorders and related areas of language and cognitive development, raising the controversial issues of the development of specialised cognitive systems, in our search for understanding cognitive development. It is clear that in order for us to advance in this area, theoretical unification between neuroscience, linguistics, psycholinguistics, and cognitive science is required.

Towards this end a multidisciplinary list of speakers has been drawn up. The symposium aims to bring current knowledge and technical advances in genetic and cognitive neuroscience investigations of language, cognition and developmental disorders to the participants. Further the workshop aims to provide an informal forum where in our quest for knowledge about genomics and cognition, controversial issues can be aired concerning the inter-related areas of the genetic and cognitive heterogeneity of SLI and other disorders; domain-specificity, and dissociation versus co-morbidity of specialised cognitive systems in normal and atypical development.

Programme and Abstracts

Opening Reception (19th) : Nicole Tibbels Recital