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- ItemArticulation speaks to executive function: an investigation in 4- to 6-year olds(Frontiers Media, 2018) Netelenbos, Nicole; Gibb, Robbin L.; Li, Fangfang; Gonzalez, Claudia L. R.Executive function (EF) and language learning play a prominent role in early childhood development. Empirical research continues to point to a concurrent relation between these two faculties. What has been given little attention, however, is the association between EF and speech articulation abilities in children. This study investigated this relation in children aged 4–6 years. Signiﬁcant correlations indicated that children with better EF [via parental report of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF)inventory] exhibited stronger speech sound production abilities in the articulation of the “s” and “sh” sounds. Furthermore, regression analyses revealed that the Global Executive Composite (GEC) of EF as measured by the BRIEF, served as a predictor for speech sound proﬁciency and that speech sound proﬁciency served as a predictor for the GEC. Together, these results demonstrate the imbricated nature of EF and speech sound production while bearing theoretical and practical implications. From a theoretical standpoint, the close link between EF and speech articulation may indicate a common ontogenetic pathway. From a practical perspective, the results suggest that children with speech difﬁculties could be at higher risk for EF deﬁcits.
- ItemFactors influencing cerebral plasticity in the normal and injured brain(Frontiers Research Foundation, 2010) Kolb, Bryan; Teskey, G. Campbell; Gibb, Robbin L.An important development in behavioral neuroscience in the past 20 years has been the demonstration that it is possible to stimulate functional recovery after cerebral injury in laboratory animals. Rodent models of cerebral injury provide an important tool for developing such rehabilitation programs. The models include analysis at different levels including detailed behavioral paradigms, electrophysiology, neuronal morphology, protein chemistry, and epigenetics. A significant challenge for the next 20 years will be the translation of this work to improve the outcome from brain injury and disease in humans. Our goal in the article will be to synthesize the multidisciplinary laboratory work on brain plasticity and behavior in the injured brain to inform the development of rehabilitation programs.
- ItemSpeech in action: degree of hand preference for grasping predicts speech articulation competence in children(Frontiers Media, 2014) Gonzalez, Claudia L. R.; Li, Fangfang; Mills, Kelly J.; Rosen, Nicole; Gibb, Robbin L.Degree of lateralization for grasping predicts the maturity of the language production system in young, typically-developing children. In this report we provide compelling evidence for the relationship between right hand grasp-to-mouth (i.e.,feeding) movements and language development. Specifically, we show that children (4–5years old) who are more right-hand lateralized in picking up small food items for consumption show enhanced differentiation of the “s” and “sh” sounds. This result suggests that left hemisphere control of hand-to-mouth gestures may have provided an evolutionary platform for the development of language. The current investigation presents the exciting possibility that early right hand-to-mouth training could accelerate the development of articulation skills.
- ItemPrenatal enrichment and recovery from perinatal cortical damage: effects of maternal complex housing(Frontiers Research Foundation, 2014) Gibb, Robbin L.; Gonzalez, Claudia L. R.; Kolb, BryanBirth is a particularly vulnerable time for acquiring brain injury. Unfortunately, very few treatments are available for those affected. Here we explore the effectiveness of prenatal intervention in an animal model of early brain damage. We used a complex housing paradigm as a form of prenatal enrichment. Six nulliparous dams and one male rat were placed in complex housing (condomom group) for 12 h per day until the dams’ delivered their pups. At parturition the dams were left in their home (standard) cages with their pups. Four dams were housed in standard cages (cagemom group) throughout pregnancy and with their pups until weaning. At postnatal day 3 (P3) infants of both groups received frontal cortex removals or sham surgery. Behavioral testing began on P60 and included the Morris water task and a skilled reaching task. Brains were processed for Golgi analyses. Complex housing of the mother had a significant effect on the behavior of their pups. Control animals from condomom group outperformed those of the cagemom group in the water task. Condomom animals with lesions performed better than their cagemom cohorts in both the water task and in skilled reaching. Codomom animals showed an increase in cortical thickness at anterior planes and thalamic area at both anterior and posterior regions. Golgi analyses revealed an increase in spine density. These results suggest that prenatal enrichment alters brain organization in manner that is prophylactic for perinatal brain injury. This result could have significant implications for the prenatal management of infants expected to be at risk for difficult birth.
- ItemPlasticity in the prefrontal cortex of adult rats(Frontiers Media, 2015) Kolb, Bryan; Gibb, Robbin L.We review the plastic changes of the prefrontal cortex of the rat in response to a wide range of experiences including sensory and motor experience, gonadal hormones, psychoactive drugs, learning tasks, stress, social experience, metaplastic experiences, and brain injury. Our focus is on synaptic changes (dendritic morphology and spine density) in pyramidal neurons and the relationship to behavioral changes. The most general conclusion we can reach is that the prefrontal cortex is extremely plastic and that the medial and orbital prefrontal regions frequently respond very differently to the same experience in the same brain and the rules that govern prefrontal plasticity appear to differ for those of other cortical regions.