FOXP2 and the Social Brain

TEDx is a series of local conferences affiliated to the TED conferences. TED stands for Technology, Design and Education. Frequent TEDx conferences produce regular videos which are uploaded onto the TEDx YouTube Channel. This Channel is a workhorse for the production of engaging videos in many disciplines from leaders in their field. The videos enable the audience to get to grips with complex subjects and there are many benefits in keeping an eye on this channel.

Professor Stephanie White talks about the social brain in this talk and specifically focuses on the FOXP2 gene. White refers to a London family with a mutation in the FOXP2 who have difficulties in controlling the lower muscles of the face as well producing words beginning with a certain letter. As there are so many factors that influence speech, Professor White has investigated FOXP2 in song birds. She found that the levels of FOXP2 gene expression in a specific area within the brain of song birds reduced when they were practicing songs. She hypothesised that expression of the FOXP2 gene is dependent on the social context and that in turn this may have an impact on certain mental illnesses. This is an important hypothesis which would benefit from further exploration.

Learning Point: Dementia can be delayed in some studies by up to 5 years in people who can speak two languages compared to one.

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s