FOXP2 and the neuroanatomy of speech and language

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2005 Feb;6(2):131-8. doi: 10.1038/nrn1605.


That speech and language are innate capacities of the human brain has long been widely accepted, but only recently has an entry point into the genetic basis of these remarkable faculties been found. The discovery of a mutation in FOXP2 in a family with a speech and language disorder has enabled neuroscientists to trace the neural expression of this gene during embryological development, track the effects of this gene mutation on brain structure and function, and so begin to decipher that part of our neural inheritance that culminates in articulate speech.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain* / anatomy & histology
  • Brain* / physiology
  • Family Health
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Language Disorders / genetics
  • Language*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neuroanatomy / methods*
  • Phenotype
  • Speech / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • FOXP2 protein, human
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors