Neural Biomarkers of Language in Preterm Infants

Project: Research project

Project Details


As many as 50% of infants born preterm go on to have speech or language disorders; this is nearly 10 times the rate of such disorders in infants born full term. Meta-analysis reveals that children born preterm have expressive and receptive language scores .71 and .83 SD lower on average at school age than full-term peers (p<.001). The mechanism for this relationship is not clear, as many potential risk factors for poor neurodevelopment (i.e., prenatal teratogen exposure, substance use, infections or hypertension) did not differ among children who have language disorder versus typical language development. Whereas more and more infants born very preterm survive to grow up and learn language, research is needed to understand the causes of impairment in this fundamental and uniquely human ability among preterm infants. The goals of this project are to advance understanding of neural and physiological factors that may underlie language disorders among children born preterm. This is the first step creating a predictive model in infancy to help determine which infants will develop speech-language disorders and could thus benefit from early intervention.
Effective start/end date1/1/1812/31/22


  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital (November 15th 2017)


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