FOXP2 in focus: What can genes tell us about speech and language?

Gary F. Marcus, Simon E. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The human capacity for acquiring speech and language must derive, at least in part, from the genome. In 2001, a study described the first case of a gene, FOXP2, which is thought to be implicated in our ability to acquire spoken language. In the present article, we discuss how this gene was discovered, what it might do, how it relates to other genes, and what it could tell us about the nature of speech and language development. We explain how FOXP2 could, without being specific to the brain or to our own species, still provide an invaluable entry-point into understanding the genetic cascades and neural pathways that contribute to our capacity for speech and language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-262
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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